Convicted fraudster Vicki Letele dies of cancer after prison release

  • 16/05/2017

High profile former prisoner Vicki Letele has lost her battle with cancer overnight.

After being imprisoned on fraud charges she was released in November after claims of poor medical treatment she was receiving behind bars.

She'd had to sleep upright on a mattress leaning against a wall to ease her pain.

There is hope her public stand will force Corrections to offer better medical care for prisoners.

"My beautiful sister lost her battle tonight," he brother, boxer David Letele wrote on Facebook.

"She put up one of the strongest fights I have ever seen. Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes."

Letele, 36, was jailed on mortgage fraud offences. But she soon fell sick - it turned out to be terminal cancer, but prison staff didn't think it was serious at first.

"She was sick for maybe six or seven weeks before she was sent to hospital," her brother David Letele told The AM Show on Monday last week.

Instead of getting her proper treatment and a diagnosis, she was told to rest her mattress against a wall.

"She was spewing up faeces, and was told to sleep upright. We're not in a third world country, and even in a third world country you shouldn't be treated that way."

She was denied parole in October, and Mr Letele says he didn't think she'd last another month. But in November, Corrections recommended her release on compassionate grounds, and the Parole Board accepted.

  • Vicki Letele's treatment in prison an absolute disgrace - brother