Strangler denied parole

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A man jailed 11 years ago for brutally murdering an Arrowtown woman has been denied parole.

Jarrod Mangles, 42, strangled Maureen McKinnel at her parents’ holiday home on Boxing Day 1987, and threw her naked body off the Arrow River bridge.

He was eventually caught in January 2003 when he provided a blood sample after being arrested in Nelson on a disorderly behaviour charge.

His DNA matched that found under McKinnel’s finger nails.

He was sentenced to life for her murder on April 6, 2004, and first became eligible for parole from March 24, 2013.

It was declined because he was deemed an “undue risk to the safety of the community”.

The New Zealand Parole Board, meeting last month, concluded little had changed.

He remains an undue risk to the community and had not completed any intensive work to reduce his risk of violent offending.

Mangles was just 15 at the time of the murder and claims he has no memory of it.

The board noted this might be because he was consuming drugs/alcohol at the time, and he had also received a serious head injury around 1998.

In the 16 years between the murder and his conviction, former Arrowtowner Mangles accumulated 80 convictions and 27 prison terms.

The board noted he now appears despondent about “the way forward”.

A recent policy change prompted by a high-profile escape of another inmate meant his work outside the wire on a prison farm had ceased.

“It is clear that he was gaining a lot from that work,” the board noted.

Before his hearing, the board received written submissions from representatives of McKinnel, who said he remained a risk to the community.

The board noted Mangles had completed several rehabilitation programmes, as alcohol and drugs were identified as a risk factor for him.

Personal issues from his time in state care as a young person could be addressed by counselling, and he required extensive work on a reintegration plan.

Police investigated about 500 people in connection with the murder of fashion store manager McKinnel, 38, including neighbour Mangles.

Her body had been discovered four days after the murder, on New Year’s Eve.

DNA testing proved he was four billion times more likely than any other person to be the one who left material under McKinnel’s fingernails. He pleaded guilty to murder, confessing part way through his trial.