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Saturday, 7 January 2012

'Kill a Pakeha' murderer released

A man who bashed to death a seven-year-old boy, believing he had to "kill a Pakeha'' during a drug-induced psychotic episode, has been released on parole.
Anthony Lawrence Roma, 45, was jailed for life after breaking into a Napier home and murdering Simon Reaney in 1991.
He bludgeoned Simon to death with a car jack before trying to kill his father and then his 11-year-old brother, who was put on life support for two weeks.
Roma was at the time suffering a drug- and alcohol-induced psychotic episode during which he said voices had told him to "kill a Pakeha''.
He told a psychiatrist he believed he was a Maori warrior and had to kill, but an insanity plea was rejected at trial.
Roma was released on parole in 2003, but was recalled to prison the following year for breaching his parole conditions by committing an indecent act in a Manukau shopping mall.
The Parole Board last month granted his second release from prison, saying he he had made "huge changes in his life'' since he was recalled.
While his crime was appalling and the Reaneys remained devastated by their tragic loss, Roma had credibly expressed remorse for what he had done, said the board.

"He has an insight into his own offending and behaviour and an openness about him which was never previously the case,'' it said.
Roma has recently been housed in a self-care unit, and has been allowed on several home leave stints and escorted shopping trips. He has also been participating in a release-to-work scheme.
Roma was assessed as a medium to high risk of sexual reoffending, and medium risk of other offending, but the board said the risk was offset by an "excellent release proposal'' which would see him living at the home of a firm ex-military man he had known since childhood.
The ex-serviceman's family, however, was less than convinced.
In a subsequent decision released this month, the Parole Board noted some family members had expressed concern that Roma would be around for a family wedding.
After finding out details of his offending, the family members were worried Roma would be around children and alcohol at the celebrations.
The board revoked its previous decision, which would have seen Roma released on November 23, and set a new release date after the wedding.
Roma was released on December 14, with conditions including he never consume alcohol or illicit drugs for the rest of his life, and that he observe a 10pm to 6am curfew.
He must also attend alcohol and drug counselling and psychological assessment and treatment as directed.
- APNZ

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