Horse killer to be released from prison early

Reg Ozanne stabbed a miniature horse 41 times in  February 2019. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Reg Ozanne stabbed a miniature horse 41 times in February 2019. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A man who killed a miniature horse, stabbing it 41 times, will be released from prison four months early.

Reginald Robert Ozanne (51) was jailed for two and a-half years midway through last year after admitting the crime, which sent shockwaves through the Waitati community 20km north of Dunedin.

At sentencing, the man accepted the evidence pointed undeniably to him but maintained he had no memory of killing Star, the beloved family pet.

Ozanne will be paroled next week to a Dunedin address on a range of conditions including a ban from physical contact with any animals.

The first Star’s owner Mandy Mayhem-Bullock knew of his release was when contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

"I just don’t want to ever see him or run into him again," she said.

"That’s going to be a massive trigger. I don’t know what I’d do. I could barely look at him in the courtroom."

Ozanne’s behaviour had improved while behind bars, panel convener Kathryn Snook said.

He had done a generic rehabilitation course and was in the after-care phase of the drug treatment programme.

"He talked with some insight today about his long-standing issue with drugs ... He said he has learnt now that he should not be afraid to ask for help when he needs it," Ms Snook said.

Ozanne had also been unafraid to take aim at the media during his stay at the Otago Corrections Facility.

A letter he sent to the ODT during his incarceration purported to be written on behalf of Star’s owners.

"I think of you as parasites feeding on the grief of the victims," he wrote.

Ozanne was a low-security inmate and the board heard he had a medium-term goal of studying design at a polytechnic.

"This was serious offending which had a significant and ongoing impact on the victims of Mr Ozanne's crime.

"However Mr Ozanne has completed two programmes directed at reducing his risk of reoffending and has support and accommodation back in the community. The key for him is that he avoids returning to drug use.

"He has new strategies to ensure that this does not happen," said Ms Snook.

His parole conditions include:

  • To live at an approved address in Dunedin.
  • To comply with the rules of the tenancy provider.
  • To abide by a 10pm-6.30am curfew for three months.
  • Not to possess alcohol or non-prescription drugs.
  • To attend any programmes as directed by Probation.
  • Not to have physical contact with any animal unless pre-approved by Probation.
  • Not to enter Waitati.

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