New Plymouth father Christopher Crean was shot dead on his doorstep in a planned attack by members of the Black Power gang in 1996. (file photo)
A convicted double murderer has successfully waived the obligation to wear a GPS-enabled anklet, citing ongoing health issues.
Dennis Richard Luke was one of four Black Power members convicted of the 1996 shooting of New Plymouth father-of-four Christopher Crean.
Crean, 27, was scheduled to testify against the gang after witnessing their attack on a rival group near his home.
Luke, along with accomplices – Brownie Marsh Mane, Symon George Manihera and Robert Shane Maru – received life sentences for the murder.
At the time of Luke’s involvement in the Crean murder, he was on parole for another murder he committed as a teenager in 1975.
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Four men convicted of the 1996 murder of New Plymouth’s Christopher Crean, from left: Robert Shane Maru, Brownie Marsh Mane, Symon George Manihera and Dennis Richard Luke. All of the men have since been released from prison on parole. (file photo)
Mane, the man who ordered Crean’s murder, was released from prison in 2015, Manihera was released the following year, while Luke left prison in 2018.
Maru was last paroled in 2021.
All men were subject to a number of special conditions as part of their probation.
In Luke’s case, this included a requirement to wear an anklet that allowed his whereabouts to be tracked electronically.
At a Sept. 7 hearing, three parole board members considered a motion by Luke’s parole officer to remove the requirement for his whereabouts to be tracked by GPS.
The board’s decision said Luke had numerous health issues, “particularly the swelling of his lower legs, which makes it difficult for him to wear an anklet.”
A convicted double murderer cited health problems, including swollen ankles, in his attempt to free himself from a GPS-enabled ankle chain, which he was required to wear as part of his parole terms. (file photo)
Although deleting the GPS tracking request was accepted, Luke was still forbidden from entering Taranaki without his parole officer’s prior permission.
He currently resides in Auckland.
The report said Crean’s family were given advance notice of the proposed change and have “signaled their approval of the change, provided the condition of stay of not entering Taranaki without consent remains in place.”
Luke remains subject to other probation terms, all of which expire next July.