Cop killer still poses an un­due risk, says Pa­role Board

Taranaki Daily News - - News -

Al­most six years af­ter killing Porirua po­lice­man Derek Woot­ton, Mon­grel Mob mem­ber Andrew Popo is no closer to be­ing con­sid­ered for re­lease.

In July 2008, Woot­ton was killed when he was run down by Popo while he laid out road spikes in Di­mock St, Ti­tahi Bay.

Popo was jailed for eight years and nine months af­ter plead­ing guilty to man­slaugh­ter. He had been out of jail for only three months when he hit and killed Woot­ton, and has a crim­i­nal his- tory that in­cludes 83 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions dat­ing back to 1991.

Popo was de­nied pa­role at his first hear­ing last year, and fared no bet­ter at his sec­ond hear­ing ear­lier this month.

In the Pa­role Board de­ci­sion it was re­vealed Popo waived his right to ap­pear in per­son, be­cause he had not com­pleted the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes as re­quired.

At his last hear­ing it was made ‘‘very clear’’ he re­mained an un­due risk to the com­mu­nity and needed to en­gage in pro­grammes he is sched­uled to at­tend.

‘‘It is our un­der­stand­ing that he has agreed to un­der­take pro­grammes, but at this point in time, noth­ing has hap­pened for him and he is re­ally in no stronger po­si­tion for pa­role to­day.’’

Popo was clas­si­fied as an iden­ti­fied drug user af­ter re­turn­ing three con­sec­u­tive pos­i­tive re­sults for cannabis while in prison.

In Jan­uary, he re­turned a neg­a­tive re­sult and his sta­tus was sched­uled for re­view in Oc­to­ber, but the board noted he had ‘‘a lot of work to do’’ to be con­sid­ered for pa­role.

‘‘For the record, we have seen var­i­ous vic­tims of his of­fend­ing, all of whom feel he should ad­dress his of­fend­ing needs to pre­vent any risk to people in the fu­ture and they also wish to see him serve his sen­tence fully. They do not sup­port his re­lease into the com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly at this time.’’

Andrew Popo

Derek Woot­ton

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