Top 10 NZ Criminals Who Served Longest Time Behind Bars


The longest-serving inmates in Kiwi jails have been behind bars for a combined total of more than 367 years – and some may never be released.

As of May 20 the inmates – all men – have been locked up for a total of 134,156 days.

That’s 367.55 years or 19,165 weeks.

The men are in prison for a plethora of offending including murder, se.x crimes, manslaughter and bank robbery.

One of the men has permanent name suppression so cannot be identified, but the rest have lengthy criminal histories and many will be well known to most New Zealanders.

Alfred Thomas Vincent

Alfred Thomas Vincent
Alfred Thomas Vincent

-Days behind bars 18,132

Vincent is New Zealand’s longest-serving prisoner.

The Christchurch man was one of the first people to be sentenced to preventive detention after he was convicted in 1968 of performing indecencies on five boys aged 12-14, including brothers, over about a year.

He has spent more than 50 years in prison.

Vincent first became eligible for parole 37 years ago, and has been refused each time.

The only time the child se.x offender has spent outside prison was during day passes and weekend leaves in the early 80s – which were revoked when he was caught talking to young boys.



-Denis Richard Luke

Days behind bars 15,798

Luke was jailed for life for the murder of Christopher Crean on October 6, 1996.

This crime was committed while he was on life parole for another murder committed 21 years previously.

Luke was a Black Power gang member.

Crean, a father of four and devout Christian, was set to give evidence as a Crown witness in a police case against Black Power members who had attacked a rival gang member outside Crean’s home.

The 27-year-old refused to be silenced despite threats and two unsuccessful attempts on his life, prior to being gunned down at his New Plymouth home in 1996 while his children were home.

Luke, along with Brownie Mane, Robert Shane Maru and Symon George Manihera were convicted of Crean’s murder and sent to prison in 1997.

The Parole Board approved Luke’s release from prison earlier this year and he was freed in July.

At the time of Corrections compiling the figures for the Herald, Luke was still incarcerated.


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