Serial killer Hayden Tyrone Poulter granted parole

Hayden Tyrone Poulter. Photo: NZ Herald
Hayden Tyrone Poulter. Photo: NZ Herald

Serial killer Hayden Tyrone Poulter has been granted parole, but will be subject to electronic GPS monitoring and a number of conditions have been imposed including not entering Auckland.

Twenty-two years ago Poulter bludgeoned to death a woman who worked as a prostitute on Auckland’s Karangahape Rd in 1997.

He then wrote a confession letter to The New Zealand Herald, claiming he would kill again.

A week later, the former demolition worker killed a massage parlour worker, her boss, and attempted to kill another worker.

Today the Parole Board revealed it would release Poulter, under special conditions, including being banned from using drugs or alcohol for the rest of his life. He must not speak to any media organisation.

Poulter (56) got a life sentence and was denied parole in 2016 and 2017. He was seen again by a board panel led by Judge Eddie Paul on May 17.

The board decision stated that Poulter had completed "all intensive rehabilitation programmes to address the drivers of his offending" - in particular drug and adult sex offender programmes.

He had also participated in "significant one-to-one counselling" between 1998 and 2002.

When the board saw Poulter last year he had completed five guided releases into the community and was applying for further opportunities for release to work outside the prison.

"There was planning under way in terms of his release proposal and future relationships," the board decision stated.

Since his last hearing Poulter progressed to a prison self-care unit.

"He has continued to apply for release to work but at this stage none has been offered to him," Judge Paul said.

"He does however point to the almost three years he spent on release to work with private contractors, while constructing various buildings for the prison. That was not in a custodial setting, so very much a testing environment."

Judge Paul said Poulter had now had a total of 20 guided releases.

"All advice we received is that has gone well," he said. "Those releases have been to a range of venues and only positive reports have been returned."

A psychologists report from April said Poulter had "demonstrated flexibility of thought".

"He was assessed then as a moderate risk of general offending and moderate to low sexual offending," Judge Paul said.

"His release proposal to a rural address with family members where work was provided was considered appropriate after assessment by the report writer."

The board spoke "at length" with Poulter at his recent hearing and canvassed his guided releases, work history and time in prison.

"Accordingly after consideration of all the material presented we are satisfied that Mr Poulter has sufficiently reduced his risk, that he can be released on parole subject to conditions which are extensive and will support his release into the community," said Judge Paul.

All but one of Poulter's special conditions would be in place for five years. The condition that he not consume drugs or alcohol would remain in place for the rest of his life.

Judge Paul said that was due to the "specific link" between drugs and alcohol and Poulter's offending.

"Mr Poulter has had explained to him the consequences of that drug and alcohol condition - that he can be tested and monitored by Corrections at any time," said Judge Paul.

He said there would also be "significant limitations on his movement".

Poulter would also be required to see the board again in five months time to monitor his progress.

Poulter's parole conditions include attending any assessments, treatment programmes, counselling and residential rehabilitation as instructed by and to the satisfaction of his probation officer.

He must also live at an approved address and not move without permission.

He will be on a curfew and must be at the address from 10pm to 6am every day unless he has prior permission from his Probation Officer.

Poulter must also seek permission before he starts, changes or leaves any employment.

Other special conditions include:

• To abstain from the consumption and/or possession of alcohol, synthetic cannabinoids and non-prescription drugs, unless prescribed by a medical practitioner, for the duration of your sentence

• To disclose to a Probation Officer, at the earliest opportunity, the start or resumption of any intimate relationship

• Not to enter Auckland region or areas north of the line from Whakatu, Huntly, Paeroa to Whangamata without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer
• Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) or families of the victims of his offending, directly or indirectly, unless he has the prior written consent of his Probation Officer

• He is not to enter, use or solicit services of escort agencies, prostitutes or massage parlours without the prior written permission of a Probation Officer.

• He is not to place any advertisement, or reference in any printed or digital publication (including the internet), and not to respond to such advertisement by any person, without the prior written permission of a Probation Officer

• He must not communicate or associate with any media organisation, directly or indirectly, without the prior written permission of a Probation Officer.

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