Killer needs more gradual release, psychologist says

Andrew MacMillan
Andrew MacMillan
A man who killed a Dunedin teenager and dumped her body in a stream needs a gradual release into the community, a psychologist says.

Andrew Ronald MacMillan (55) is serving a life sentence at the Otago Corrections Facility after murdering 17-year-old Jayne McLellan, whose body was found in the Kaikorai Stream in 1988.

He was released to the same facility on parole twice in 2020 but only lasted months before breaching his conditions and landing back behind bars, with new convictions for possessing cannabis and a weapon.

It was not to be third time lucky for MacMillan.

Parole Board chairman Sir Ron Young, at a hearing last month, said the man’s two previous failures on parole indicated he needed to be housed somewhere with more support.

However, he acknowledged MacMillan had been "somewhat unfairly treated" given Corrections initially supported his release proposal, only recently changing its stance.

The board heard the inmate had "some difficulties with his conduct", though there had been improvements more recently.

After 10 sessions with a psychologist, there had been significant gains made.

"The psychologist noted, however, he can sometimes be verbose, superficial, reactive and defensive," Sir Ron said.

MacMillan was assessed as a medium risk of violent reoffending.

While the killer was keen to get out, the clinician proposed a different approach.

"[The report] recommended a rather slower release with possibly self-care, guided releases and whanau huis with his Probation officer and supporters to avoid the kind of circumstances that arose in 2020 that resulted in his recall."

Sir Ron urged Corrections to assist MacMillan with applications to release organisations before his next parole hearing in October.

The setback marked a second failure for the prisoner this year after the High Court in January declined to reinstate his opiate pain medication for injuries he had sustained in a car crash.

MacMillan sought more than $12,000 in damages and costs and told the court the pain he was suffering was "like torture".

Justice Mark Woolford ruled it would be "totally inappropriate" for a court to second-guess a doctor’s treatment decisions.

 

 

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