Vicki Letele recommended for release

Vicki Letele (Newshub)
Vicki Letele (Newshub)

Terminally ill prisoner Vicki Letele is a step closer to freedom.

The Department of Corrections has referred her case to the Parole Board to consider her release on compassionate grounds.

"I feel very saddened by Ms Letele's circumstances. Cancer is an awful thing and I can quite understand that she, her children, and her wider family will want to be together to care for each other over the coming months," says Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith.

Thirty-five-year-old Letele, who was jailed for fraud in March, has terminal stomach cancer.

Family say the mother-of-three only has months to live and have been campaigning to have her released on compassionate grounds.

While the ultimate decision rests with the Parole Board, Letele's family is very hopeful with Corrections' referral.

"I haven't cried tears of happiness in a very long time.  I'm so overwhelmed by all the support we've had," says Letele's partner Leah Witehira.