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Reginald Robert Ozanne (50) appeared before the Parole Board for the first time yesterday where he accepted from the outset that he did not expect early release.
Board chairman Sir Ron Young said the prisoner, serving a term of two and-half years’ imprisonment for the bloody attack, would be seen again in July 2021 once his rehabilitation programmes were under way and he had time to work on a release plan.
Ozanne entered a Waitati paddock in February last year and stabbed Star, the beloved family pet, 41 times.
While initially fronting media to claim innocence, he was later charged by police and pleaded guilty in the Dunedin District Court.
Ozanne said he had consumed home-brewed and prescription drugs and had no memory of the brutal slaying.
At yesterday’s parole hearing — to which the Otago Daily Times was granted attendance — he was asked how he felt about the trauma he caused the animal’s owners.
"I constantly think about how it affects the victims. I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes so I could feel a bit empathetic towards the way it’s affected them," Ozanne said.
"The only way I can express is just in self-hatred ... I’m horrified drugs and alcohol could take me to that sort of level of horribleness."
The prisoner said he had repeatedly considered how he could repay the victims.
"I think the only thing I can do is make myself a better person for the community."
Sir Ron said that sentiment was in stark contrast to how Ozanne had behaved behind bars.
He had been made a high-security inmate after "acting out" repeatedly, the board heard.
Ozanne put it down to the loss of two family members over the last year.
"Prison’s a very difficult place for a man to be able to grieve," he said. "I went back to old patterns."
Sir Ron noted his behaviour had improved more recently.
Ozanne said he wanted to learn more Maori and had engaged with the church.
Panel member Fiona Pimm called the stabbing "horrendous" and asked what the prisoner would do to alter a pattern of offending spanning 34 years.
Ozanne told the board he had done rehabilitation at Dunedin’s Moana House in the past.
He put his relapse down to "complacency".
"Thinking that I could drink alcohol in a social environment and take a little bit of drugs. Then addiction got hold of me again," he said.
"I can’t drink and take drugs. The only places it leads to are jails, institutions and death."
Star’s owner Mandy Mayhem-Bullock was relieved to hear Ozanne would be behind bars for at least 11 more months.
She was disappointed there was still no answer as to why the man had committed such a savage crime.