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Paul David Bailey (48), who was jailed for life after being found guilty of the 1991 rape and murder of Kylie Smith, appeared before the New Zealand Parole Board at a hearing in Christchurch on Tuesday.
The hearing came after a three-year postponement.
The board in a statement yesterday confirmed it had declined parole because it was not satisfied Bailey no longer posed an undue risk to the community.
Bailey, who has served 21 years of his sentence, will be seen again next year in accordance with the 12-month statutory cycle. The board at that hearing will consider making another postponement of up to three years.
''I'm very scared because up until now we have had three postponements of three years. I'm scared it's a prelude to his release,'' Mrs Smith told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.
''We mistakenly thought life meant life [in prison].''
A month before the rape and murder of Kylie, Bailey was charged with attempted rape in Ettrick and was on bail at the time of the Owaka 15-year-old's death in 1991.
He was armed with a .22 calibre rifle when he approached Kylie, who was riding a horse. He forced her into his car then drove into an area of bush, where he raped and murdered her. He was convicted for the crimes and imprisoned for life.
Mrs Smith and her late husband, Bevan, had fought to keep Bailey in prison, for postponements of his parole hearings, and for changes to the justice system.
Mr Smith died, aged 60, on Christmas Day 2011.
Mrs Smith yesterday said appearing before the parole board was not difficult, but the waiting afterwards was.
The parole board is expected to release its written recommendation tomorrow.