Grandmother killer closer to gaining parole

·2-min read
Samantha Manchee/AAP PHOTOS

A Queensland man who stabbed an 89-year-old grandmother to death after breaking into her home is one step closer to being released on parole.

Martin Harrod was aged 28 when he murdered Gretchen Smith at some point overnight between March 31 and April 1, 1988 at her unit in Mackay.

Harrod was jailed for life later that year after a six-week manhunt led to his arrest in Victoria and return to Queensland to plead guilty.

Harrod appeared via video link in Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday and represented himself in a judicial review of his parole application.

The Supreme Court last year denied Harrod's attempt to overturn the parole board cancelling his release over multiple positive drug tests but also said his parole would go ahead if he could secure appropriate accommodation.

Harrod told the court on Wednesday that he was "on top of the list" to live at one of three Brisbane properties: at Moorooka, Greenslopes and at East Brisbane.

Barrister Sally Robb, representing the parole board, said a final decision had not been made on whether to grant Harrod parole but the board would make a decision once he secured a bed.

"The board has asked to be notified if Mr Harrod has not been allocated a bed by (June 19) and if he has they will meet to grant his parole," Ms Robb said.

Harrod said he was "fed up" with the process.

"This has been going on since 2019 ... (Justice Peter) Flanagan told them to get me accommodation three times," Harrod said.

Justice Soraya Ryan told Harrod she could understand why he was frustrated but said the only way he would get parole was through finding a bed in suitable accommodation.

"It just seems to be going backwards all the time," Harrod said.

Justice Ryan responded that "it's hard for anyone to get accommodation in Queensland at the moment".

The hearing was adjourned until June 22 to see if Harrod could secure accommodation and go before the parole board and also withdraw his application for a judicial review if he was granted release.