Ewen Macdonald granted parole

Ewen MacDonald (Getty)
Ewen MacDonald (Getty)

The father of Scott Guy says the family knew it was inevitable Ewen Macdonald would be paroled, but wants to focus on the future. 

Macdonald was granted parole today with special conditions, including not being able to enter the North Island without permission.

The 35-year-old former Feilding farmer is approaching the end of his five-year jail term after admitting to torching his former brother-in-law Scott Guy's old house, vandalising his new house, and stealing deer and killing calves on a nearby farm. 

Macdonald was jailed in 2012 after entering guilty pleas to two charges of arson, three of intentional damage and one of theft of animals.

In the same year, Macdonald stood trial for the murder of Scott Guy, who was found shot dead in the driveway of his family's Feilding farm.

Macdonald was found not guilty of the charge, and no one has been convicted of the killing.

Last year the Parole Board denied Macdonald's release from prison because they were not satisfied he had addressed "the deeper issues which underpinned his offending to the point where he no longer posed an undue risk to the safety of the community".

The board decided Macdonald needed ongoing psychological intervention and support.

But now, the board has had a change of heart, deciding to release Macdonald with special conditions.

He won't be allowed to enter the North Island without the written consent of his probation officer, possess or use firearms, and he must be electronically monitored.

He must also undergo a psychological assessment, stay at an approved address and avoid contact with any of his victims and his co-offender.

Scott Guy's father, Bryan Guy, told 3 News the board's decision to release Macdonald doesn't come as a surprise.

"We put it in the back of our minds, but we knew he'd be out at some stage. I don't think happy is the right word, but it's an inevitable outcome, really.

"I think the betrayal against the family is something that we're never going to forget, I mean, there's no trust there of him anymore and we've seen what he's capable of," he says.

Macdonald's ex-wife and Scott Guy's sister, Anna Guy, left him shortly after he was jailed for the other charges and now resides in Auckland with the pair's children.

Mr Guy says Macdonald has seen the children while he's been in prison and will continue to once he is released.

After 40 years on the family farm, Mr Guy says he and his wife decided to sell up after years of thinking it over.

"Obviously the succession plans we once had have all changed, so we've taken some time to consider it and after 40 years on the farm, Jo and I decided it was time to do something else.

According to the board's report, Macdonald is currently employed as a carpenter at a construction yard, and his instructors "speak very highly of him".

The board said it was satisfied Macdonald no longer poses a threat to the community.

"There is clear evidence that he has been endeavouring to change his behaviour, and to react to early warning signs that he is reverting to old behaviours," the report states.

The board also believes Macdonald has a strong group of supporters, including family and friends.

Macdonald will be released from prison next month.

3 News