Pa­role de­nied for con­victed killer

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Deena Coster

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.

Christo­pher Crean

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