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Karla Cardno killer seeks release from prison

Published: 11:04AM Thursday January 24, 2013 Source: Fairfax

The man who kidnapped, raped and murdered Wellington schoolgirl Karla Cardno will next month seek release from prison.

Paul Joseph Dally has served more than 22 years in prison after being handed a life sentence for the May 1989 slaying of the 13-year-old.

In a crime that shocked the nation, Dally snatched Karla while she was riding her bike through a Lower Hutt suburb.

He later raped her and held her captive in his home, watching on as Karla's family and friends searched for her.

Karla's body was found four weeks later on the Pencarrow Coast, east of Wellington.

After nearly a quarter of a century behind bars, Dally is set to go before the Parole Board in February.

It will be the first time he has been able to seek release since a hearing in early 2010, which ruled he was still too dangerous to be released.

At the time, the Parole Board issued the notorious killer a three-year postponement order meaning he would not be allowed before the board again until 2013.

A written copy of the board's decision revealed it was ''not at all convinced that [Dally] has yet dealt with the appalling offending which brought him to prison''.

Three years earlier, Dally finally issued an apology to Karla's traumatised family.

In September 2007 he made an unsuccessful attempt at gaining parole, with the board's report stating: ''He says he would like to say how truly sorry he was for what he had done and he is doing the best that he can now to change himself for the future. We record that for what it is worth.''

In 1999, Karla's stepfather, Mark Middleton, was arrested for threatening to kill Dally. It followed comments Middleton made in the media.

He was later convicted and received a nine-month suspended jail term.

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