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Lyttelton gets parole for second time

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/07/2016

An Auckland man sent to prison twice over the same attempted murder is set to be released on parole for a second time.

Martin Lyttelton, 57, in 2008 pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of former business partner Richard Ord, along with shooting Ord's partner, Colleen Fenton, at their North Shore home.

But after serving his sentence of five years and 11 months - half on parole - Lyttelton won a bid to have his guilty plea thrown out in an attempt to clear his name - only to be convicted by a jury and given a longer jail term in May this year.

That meant Lyttelton had to return to prison while the Parole Board figured out how much extra time he would have to serve.

The board has now announced he will be granted parole on Tuesday, meaning he spent two extra months in jail.

"We are unanimous that Mr Lyttelton does not presently constitute an undue risk of reoffending," the board said in its decision release on Monday.

"He spent a considerable amount of time in the community while on parole for the previous sentence and did not reoffend."

Lyttelton's second sentence and his first differed because the original included a discount for a guilty plea.

The board acknowledged it was an "unusual set of circumstances".

The conditions of his release include attending psychiatric assessments and counselling, a ban on owning a gun and not contacting his victims among standard restrictions.

Lyttelton's full sentence was due to run until March 2019.

During the trial, the prosecution said Lyttelton broke into Mr Ord's North Shore house, shooting Ms Fenton in the thigh with a shotgun and trying to stab Ord with a skinning knife.

But representing himself, Lyttelton argued he had no plan to kill Mr Ord, but wanted to commit suicide in front of him.

HOW MARTIN LYTTELTON WENT TO JAIL TWICE FOR ONE ATTEMPTED MURDER

THE CRIME

* Martin Lyttelton, then aged 49, went to former business partner Richard Ord's house with a shotgun, ammo and a skinning knife in April 2008

* He shot Mr Ord's partner, Colleen Fenton, through a door before getting into a struggle with Mr Ord over the gun

* After trying to stab Mr Ord, Lyttelton eventually gave up

FIRST TRIAL

* Lyttelton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years and 11 months in jail * He served about half of that in prison and was paroled in 2011 APPEAL

* In 2014 Lyttelton successfully applied to the Court of Appeal to throw out his original guilty plea - saying he wasn't mentally fit at the time due to his depression and a drug overdose

* A new trial was ordered in the High Court at Auckland

SECOND TRIAL

* The Crown argued Lyttelton had murderous intent when he went to Mr Ord's house

* He faced charges of aggravated robbery, attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm

* Lyttelton, now aged 57, said he actually planned to commit suicide in front of Mr Ord and never wanted to kill him

* A jury found him guilty on all three charges in March 2016

THE NEW SENTENCE

* Without a discount for pleading guilty, Justice Raynor Asher handed Lyttelton a seven-year-sentence in May

* Lyttelton was sent back to jail while authorities figured out how much extra time he would have to serve

* On July 25 the Parole Board at his first meeting announced he would be released on parole again

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354. Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

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