Attempted murderer rejected for parole

Blair Tamihana (46) has now been refused parole twice. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
Blair Tamihana (46) has now been refused parole twice. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
The man behind a failed murder-suicide at a Dunedin holiday park has been denied parole, but may still be out of prison by Christmas.

Blair Wiremu Tamihana (46) was jailed for three years eight months for attempted murder when he was sentenced before the High Court at Dunedin last year.

At a Parole Board hearing at Otago Corrections Facility last month, the prisoner was declined early release for the second time.

However, his progress was such that the board agreed to see him again by December.

Tamihana, the court heard at sentencing, had come out of a marriage of 20 years when he met the victim.

On May 30, 2019, he was on bail on domestic violence charges (later dropped) and breached his conditions by meeting the woman.

After a trip to the police station for the woman to withdraw her police complaint, the pair went to Portobello, where Tamihana was staying in a caravan.

An argument resulted in the defendant pushing the victim on to a bed.

After an attempt to stab himself in the stomach with a hunting knife, Tamihana swallowed nine prescription painkillers and made the victim take one.

He disabled his girlfriend’s cellphone then turned the stove on, releasing the gas he hoped would kill them.

Finally, Tamihana closed the vents and parked his car beside the caravan’s door, climbing back in through the bathroom window.

“We are going to die together,” he told the victim.

However, she waited for Tamihana to pass out before sneaking through the window and alerting the camp manager.

Tamihana completed drug counselling early this year and was currently undertaking work with an undisclosed professional.

She recommended he do more than the six sessions they had completed.

Tamihana had accommodation lined up with “a robust, pro-social person” and panel convener Judge David Mather remarked on the numerous letters from supporters that were before the board.

“Having carefully considered these matters, we take the view that it is essential that Mr Tamihana attend the reintegration meeting ... before he is released,” he said.

“He is serving his first prison sentence for a serious offence, but in our view, clarity around the support network for him following release and the role to be played by those who will be supporting him is essential.”

 

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