TODAY |

Kaitaia community reeling after sex offender released into community

The parents of a young sexual assault victim are angry her attacker's been granted compassionate leave from prison and released back into the community they live in.

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The man is believed to be living a short drive away from the parents of his victim. Source: 1 NEWS

Former Northland community leader, Mangu Awaru has served four years of his 11 year sentence and is now believed to be living just a short drive away from the parents of his victim.

Awaru denies any wrongdoing and has refused any rehabilitation treatment.

He was declined parole in November.

Last weekend, however, he was released and granted leave on compassionate grounds due to being seriously ill and unlikely to recover.

The victim has moved overseas and 1 NEWS cannot identify her or her family, however the family say Awaru is living in the same community just a 20 minute drive up the road from where they live.

“He still doesn't acknowledge that he has a problem - that he did that to our daughter and my daughter is living it today and she's still in prison herself,” the victim’s mother says.

Victim’s advocate, Ruth Money says the community deserves better.

"We now have an untreated sex offender in a really small community who are scared and they should be scared he's untreated.

"He won't acknowledge [it], he's not remorseful and there is an untreated sex offender in their community,” she says.

Awaru has been released into the community despite the Parole Board admitting the likelihood of contact between him and the family is high.

It says they will be using the same facilities and amenities, however his release conditions ban him from travelling on the road where the family lives.

The victim's father says he feels “let down” by the system.

The Parole Board wouldn't be interviewed on the matter, it also won't disclose just how ill Awaru is - that's information the family say might make them feel more at ease.

The family is also disappointed they weren't given an opportunity to make submissions on his release from prison. 

When considering releases on compassionate grounds, the Parole Board says it only looks at medical information.