1493090411487 - Matt Stevens murder plotter Kelly Leigh Crook denied parole

Matt Stevens murder plotter Kelly Leigh Crook denied parole

A woman who plotted to lure a man to a deadly ambush then helped attempt to cover up murder by faking a car crash scene has been denied parole.

Kelly Leigh Crook, 30, will remain in jail for up to another year, after the Parole Board determined her unfit for early release.

She had lured Matthew Stevens, 32, to her Lower Hutt home in November 2014 where her then-boyfriend, Darrin Wilkie-Morris beat him with a hammer, and his accomplice Stuart Wilton stabbed him to death.

The trio attempted to clean the crime scene, then drove his car and body up to Paekakariki Hill Road, and attempted to push it over the edge of a deep gully.

READ MORE:
* Kelly Leigh Crook jailed for role in Lower Hutt man Matthew Stevens’ murder
* Hill road murder plotter up for parole only weeks after sentencing
* The faked car crash and the missing motive, why was Matt Stevens murdered?
* Kelly Leigh Crook jailed for role in Matt Stevens’ murder
* Darrin Wilkie-Morris’ violent past revealed as he is jailed for Matt Stevens’ murder

However the car came to rest not far off the roadside, and the vehicle and Stevens’ body was discovered by passersby the following day.

Police have previously said none of the trio have ever explained their motives for the crime.

Crook pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder, wounding with intent to cause injury, assault and other offending and was sentenced to three years and four months in jail.

The report said while Crook had prior to the March 31 hearing denied participation in the crime by enticing Stevens to her home: “she now freely acknowledges that part of her role.”

“When pressed as to why she had only now chosen to take responsibility for her full role in his death, she said that until she was forced to confront the details of her offending on the [withheld] programme, she had been in denial.

She now acknowledges that what she did was, as she described it, ‘horrible’. She struggled with her role but she has now been able to work through some of the issues that contributed to her involvement.”

The report said her conduct in prison had been “less than satisfactory” until last August. But since going to a programme her attitude had become more positive.

It also said Crook had completed a drug treatment programme, but she still had a risk of dependence on cannabis and until she completed that programme she could not advance to another.

The board deemed her unfit for parole until she completed those programmes and declined to release her.

Crook is next eligible to apply for parole in February 2018, two months before her sentence ends.

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