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Bell, Burton, Ryder – will the Parole Board ever learn?

Bell, Burton, Ryder – will the Parole Board ever learn?


The Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) is outraged that the Parole Board has released another violent offender, who reoffended only months later.

Convicted child killer, Peter Wayne Ryder, was released by the Parole Board after they declared he was no longer a threat to the safety of the community.

“Within months of his release he attacked his former partner and threatened to kill her,” Trust spokesman Garth McVicar says. “This was the second time he had been released on parole after murdering a 10-year-old child.”

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says some hard questions need to be asked. Is the Parole System working? Who would be responsible if Ryder had killed his victim? Why someone already sentenced to ‘LIFE’ was ever released?

“It seems the Parole Board have learnt nothing after tragedies such as Graeme Burton or William Bell,” McVicar says. He’s also concerned that the Parole Board are treating ‘safety of the community’ as a throw away slogan with no meaning and no consequence.

“This guy [Ryder] is a child killer; he murdered a 10 year-old defenseless boy who died from the horrific injuries Ryder inflicted on him during a two-day beating,” he says. “The boy had emergency surgery at Christchurch Hospital to relieve brain swelling, but was diagnosed as brain-stem dead four days later.”

Ryder was convicted and sentenced to a life sentence for the death of the boy. “For this offence Ryder was sentenced to that biggest swindle of all, ‘a LIFE sentence’ but conned the parole board that he was rehabilitated and they released him in 2005.”

Ryder then went on to reoffend and was recalled to prison. He was then released, again, by the Parole Board as they expected he would ‘progress very smoothly’ back into the community.

“They even had the audacity to say ‘he knows the consequences if he does not’,” McVicar said. “If the Parole Board are so naive they still believe that an offender who has murdered a defenseless 10-year-old child can ever be taught ‘consequences’ then they have their heads in the sand.”

SST is deeply concerned that Ryder will be recalled to prison and released again, only to reoffend, and possibly kill, again.

“Of course Ryder will be recalled to prison – again – but he will be released –again – when the Parole Board, who by the way are responsible for OUR safety, deem he is no longer an undue risk to the safety of the community,” McVicar says. “Bell, Burton, Ryder, what a terribly fateful sound!”


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