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Dally still a long way from release

14:46 Tue Feb 19 2013

The man who raped and murdered Lower Hutt schoolgirl Karla Cardno has for the first time indicated he wants to undergo treatment for child sex offenders, but the Parole Board says he is still a long way from being released.

Paul Dally, who has spent nearly 24 years in prison for the crime that shocked the country, was last week declined parole because he is still considered a high risk. He has been declined early release ever since he became eligible in 1999.

On Tuesday, the Parole Board released its reasons behind the decision to keep him behind bars.

There was no chance of him being granted parole until he had attended the Te Piriti Child Sex Offenders Programme, said chairman Justice Warwick Gendall.

In the past he has found excuses not to agree to attend such programmes, including a claim that he was "not charged" or convicted of a sexual offence.

Police agreed not to lay sexual charges against Dally in return for him revealing where he had buried her.

"But there was overwhelming evidence that dreadful sexual violation accompanied his crime of murder. Obviously, he would have received a life sentence for the crime of murder in any event."

Dally took Karla, 13, off her bike near her home, then raped and tortured her, before burying her alive at Pencarrow Head, near Wellington, in 1989.

Dally, now in his 50s and who apologised to Karla's family in 2007, now says he is motivated to attend and complete the treatment programme.

"Time will tell whether such motivation is genuine," Justice Gendall said.

He would shortly be assessed to see if he is suitable for the programme.

"He is a long way off being eligible for release on parole and it is out of the question at present."

Dally will be seen by the board again in a year.