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Scott Watson denied parole

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/12/2016

Convicted killer Scott Watson has been denied parole and won't get to apply for release again until 2020.

Watson, 45, was in 1999 convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Olivia Hope, 16, and Ben Smart, 21, after they were last seen hopping on a yacht moored at Endeavour Inlet in the Marlborough Sounds following New Year's Eve celebrations.

Their bodies have never been found.

The parole board met with Watson for the second time on December 6 and in a decision released on Thursday said he had "considerably more work to do" to show he no longer posed a risk.

One psychologists report shown to the board found Watson was "very high" risk of reoffending, based on his "ruminations about revenge" and other issues.

The board rejected Watson's lawyer's plea to "give him a chance", and argued he was not an undue risk because he knew the community where he wanted to be released and could find work.

"In order to be a realistic candidate for parole, Mr Watson needs to demonstrate that he has reduced his risk," it said.

The board also said Watson's request for another parole hearing within the next two years was "over-optimistic" and that he needed time to get over his "unhelpfully suspicious, mistrustful and combative attitudes".

It said a four year postponement was needed to allow Watson to have intensive treatment to mitigate his risk of reoffending.

That means he won't have another parole hearing until December 6, 2020, although he can apply for earlier reconsideration if he thinks circumstances have changed.

Watson appeared before the board for the first time last year.

He recently met with Ms Hope's father, Gerald Hope, and the pair spoke for six hours.

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