‘We couldn’t do anything to help her’

Thirty years after the violent death of her beloved daughter, Dawn Smith hopes her killer will stay behind bars for the rest of his life.

Paul Bailey was this week declined parole when he appeared before the Parole Board for his first hearing since 2016. He will not reappear until 2023.

He was jailed for life for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Kylie Smith, of Owaka, in 1991.

A month before Kylie’s murder, Bailey was charged with attempted rape in Ettrick, and he was on bail at the time of her death.

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.

The Parole Board heard Bailey had made good progress since his last appearance, but still needed to be tested in some areas.

Dawn Smith was brightening up the graves of her daughter Kylie and husband Bevan at the Owaka...
Dawn Smith was brightening up the graves of her daughter Kylie and husband Bevan at the Owaka Cemetery yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Mrs Smith (71) told the Otago Daily Times that two more years in prison was better than one.

But she hoped he was never released.

"I’d like him just to die and leave us alone. There’s been no remorse for the last 30 years, so I’ve got none for him."

She is still furious about the death of her smart, sporty, personable daughter. She probably would have gone on to be a vet, her mother believed.

The murder has cast a shadow over the family for three decades.

When Mrs Smith last saw Bailey in person, all she could think about was how Kylie would have felt during her final moments.

"I can’t get that out of my head. Every day I think that, and we couldn’t do anything to help her," she said tearfully.

Kylie’s father Bevan Smith lived with it and "died far too young".

"I’m extremely bitter about that one."

At Wednesday’s hearing, board member Prof Phil Brinded said Bailey’s victims and their families felt Bailey had no respect for them, and had no remorse for his actions.

Bailey said he did not know how to express his remorse because he "wouldn’t know where to begin".

"The things I’ve done are irreversible, there’s no way I can ever fix it," he said.

"I would be willing to do anything."

But Mrs Smith was not buying it. "I just think he is such a fraud."

Preparing for each parole hearing was extremely hard, she said.

"It does drain us and it’s become a big part of our lives, and he just sits doing what he wants with not a care in the world, and yet we go through hell.

"We’ve had him in our lives for 30 years. Is that what it’s going to be like until I die?"

Bailey told the board his offending sprang from issues he experienced in his youth, leading him to turn to alcohol and self medication, and to act out sexually.

He had undertaken one-on-one treatment, and had been working "outside the wire" on a farm and in a piggery.

But the last five years had not been without incident. In 2018 he returned a positive test for cannabis. In 2019, he was found in possession of the tip of a screwdriver. And in 2019, he was found with three cannabis joints.

He was not charged over the latter, as it transpired he had been threatened by other inmates to bring in the drugs.

The board expressed concerns about the fact Bailey had not undertaken any specific programmes to address his violence.

He explained that by saying his violence was "instrumental", rather than an out of control act.

But Prof Brinded did not accept that.

"Not to put too fine a point on it, but you shot a young girl in the head, that’s pretty violent."

The board will see him again in March 2023. If he was eventually released, it would not be to the South Island.

daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz

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