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WILSON - Stewart Murray - 07/08/2012

Parole hearing
Under section 104(FRD) of the Parole Act 2002

Conditions hearing

Stewart Murray WILSON


Hearing:

7 August 2012
at (withheld) Prison

Members of the Board:
Judge J Macdonald (Panel Convenor)
Ms L Campbell
Mr R Wilson

Counsel:
Mr A McKenzie

Support Person:
(Withheld)

In Attendance:
(Withheld)

DECISION OF THE BOARD

  1. Stewart Murray Wilson appears before the Parole Board today for the imposition of final release conditions.
  2. Mr Wilson is serving a 21-year prison sentence that commenced on 15 March 1996.  His final release date is on 1 September 2012.  His sentence end date is 1 December 2015. 
  3. He was represented at the hearing today by Mr McKenzie.  (Withheld), who is a Senior Advisor at the High Risk Team of the Community Probation Service in Wellington, attended for the Department.  What is proposed are some 21 special conditions.  We have heard from Mr McKenzie in respect of each of those conditions.  We have also heard from (Withheld).
  4. In assessing the matter, we are conscious that the paramount consideration is the safety of the community.  We bear in mind however that any special condition must not be imposed unless it is designed to reduce the risk of reoffending, promote his rehabilitation and reintegration or provide for the reasonable concerns of the victims of his offending.  We also take into account that Mr Wilson must not be subject to release conditions that are more onerous or last longer than is consistent with the safety of the public.  We are of course conscious that Mr Wilson has spent 18 years in prison and in normal circumstances he would have expected a release relatively free of restrictions.  We have therefore taken into account Mr McKenzie’s submission that the conditions as currently proposed would mean that Mr Wilson will be placed in virtual social isolation.  Such isolation would not assist his integration back into the community.
  5. The proposed condition of most concern is the one requiring Mr Wilson to live in a house that has yet to be erected on property owned by Whanganui Prison.  Resource consent is still to be obtained although (Withheld) assures us that is a mere formality and the house will be ready in time.
  6. In the course of the hearing Mr Wilson indicated that it was his wish to travel to (Withheld) initially to speak with the lawyer acting for him on ACC matters and from there travel to (Withheld) where he has support and the expectation of accommodation in a hostel run by the Catholic Church.  Unfortunately this comes late in the piece and the Probation Service has had no opportunity to assess it.  Given his imminent release the only viable option for the Board is the house to be located on prison property. 
  7. In that regard, Mr McKenzie submits that the Board cannot direct where Mr Wilson should live.  He further questions whether the Board is able to compel Mr Wilson to enter into a financial arrangement which requires him to pay rental to the Department.  He also floated the idea that the Residential Tenancies Act might have some impact upon this.  As it stands the proposed special condition requires Mr Wilson to sign and comply with the rules of the property which comes in the form of a licence agreement.
  8. Having considered the matter we are not persuaded that we can compel Mr Wilson to sign the licence agreement and while we are going to require him to reside at that address, and not to move without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer, we have removed the requirement to sign the licence agreement. 
  9. While we have adopted that course we remain uncomfortable that having served his full sentence, and in due course he will be subject to an Extended Supervision Order for 10 years, Mr Wilson is being compelled to live on prison property and within view of the prison.  He is in fact closer to the prison than the self care units.  However, as explained, we believe in the interests of safety that we have no alternative.  We also bear in mind that Mr Wilson had been unwilling to put forward any other proposal before today.
  10. In the end, we are imposing 17 special conditions.  Mr Wilson will be required to attend a hearing in 3 months time to monitor his compliance with the conditions.  In the Board’s view there are clearly special circumstances for having such a hearing.  It will also provide an opportunity to review the special conditions.  
  11. We have not imposed a curfew as we think that is unnecessary given the electronic monitoring.  We have made other modifications to the conditions proposed.  Overall we believe that the conditions will protect the victims and the community at large.
  12. Mr Wilson will be released on his final release date.  He will be on the standard conditions and the special conditions listed.  These conditions will last until 1 September 2015. 
    1. To reside at (Withheld), Whanganui and not to move from that address, without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
    2. Not to leave the district of Whanganui without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer. The district of Whanganui is defined as the district boundary of the Whanganui District Council.
    3. To submit to, and comply with the requirements of, electronic monitoring as directed by the Probation Officer, to monitor compliance with conditions relating to your whereabouts.
    4. To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring, and provide access to the approved residence for this purpose to Department of Corrections’ staff and representatives of the monitoring company, as directed by the Probation Officer.
    5. Not to associate or otherwise have contact with any person under 16 years of age unless another adult over the age of 20 years, who has previously been informed and approved in writing by your Probation Officer, is present.
    6. Not to have any female present at your address at any time, unless given prior written approval by the Probation Officer.
    7. Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victims of your offending, directly or indirectly.
    8. Not to attend any addiction support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
    9. To attend sessions with a Departmental Psychologist for the purpose of developing a safety plan, as may be directed by the Probation Officer in consultation with the psychologist.
    10. To undertake, engage in and complete a reintegration programme administered by a programme provider approved by the Probation Officer, and abide by the rules of the programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and the programme provider.
    11. Not to engage in any employment (paid or unpaid) without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
    12. Not to use or possess any electronic device capable of accessing the internet, unless supervised at all times by an informed adult who has the prior written approval of the Probation Officer. To give your Probation Officer or their agent access to any electronic device in your possession or control, for the purposes of checking the internet capability of the device and your compliance with this condition.
    13. Not to engage in any clubs, groups, associations or churches unless with the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
    14. Not to place any advertisement or reference in any printed publication (or similar, including internet publications) and not to respond to any such advertisement by another person without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
    15. Not to possess or drive a motor vehicle without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
    16. Not to possess or consume alcohol or illicit drugs.
    17. To attend for a monitoring and compliance hearing before the New Zealand Parole Board in December 2012 at a time, date and venue to be notified to you in writing by the New Zealand Parole Board
  13. The standard conditions are set out in section 14 of the Parole Act 2002.
J Macdonald
Panel Convenor

Review


•    You may apply for a review of the Board’s decision under section 67(1).  The only grounds under which you may make an application for review are that the Board, in making its decision:

a)    Failed to comply with procedures in the Parole Act 2002; or
b)    Made an error of law; or
c)    Failed to comply with Board policy resulting in unfairness to the offender; or
d)    Based its decision on erroneous or irrelevant information that was material to the decision reached; or
e)    Acted without jurisdiction.

•    To apply for a review you must write to the Board within 28 days of its decision stating which of the above ground(s) you consider to be relevant in your case and giving reasons why you believe that ground(s) applies.
 
•    Reviews are considered on the papers only.  There is no hearing in respect of your Review Application.