Parole denied for convicted killer
Although his co-offenders have already been paroled, a man jailed for his role in the killing of a police witness will remain behind bars for another year.
Robert Shane Maru is the last of four men left behind in prison, after all were sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1996 murder of New Plymouth man Christopher Crean.
Crean was killed in order to prevent him giving evidence against Black Power, the gang the four defendants were patched members of at the time.
In the past three years, Maru’s co-offenders Brownie Mane, Symon Manihera and Denis Luke have been released on parole back into the community. Mane, who ordered the hit, was let out in 2015, Manihera in 2016 and Luke was paroled in July this year.
But it’s Maru’s lack of support and preparation for entry back into society that is stalling his attempts to get out.
The Parole Board saw Maru on October 23 in the Whanganui prison to consider his progress towards reintegration back into the community.
In its report, it explained how Maru has completed a rehabilitation programme and had been engaged with a psychologist for a year. Maru’s release plan was described by the board as ‘‘somewhat sparse’’. One of the key gaps was a lack of pro-social support.
‘‘Mr Maru has no significant relationship or contact with most other members of his extended wha¯ nau. He is hoping to develop that relationship, however.’’
The report also stated that Maru was feeling anxious about his release and the changes he will face outside of prison.
‘‘In the Board’s view he needs to be exposed to a regulated process of change through reintegration activities. Accordingly, we support his progression through the selfcare units, other reintegration activities and on to release to work.’’
A focus on expanding his support network in the community would also be needed before his prison release would be considered, the report said.
In light of those issues, Maru’s parole was declined. The Parole Board requested an updated psychological report ahead of the next hearing in November 2019.
Of the four men jailed for the 1996 murder of New Plymouth father Christopher Crean, Robert Maru (far left) is the only one still behind bars.