Kelly Leigh CROOK - 30/03/2016


Parole hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Kelly Leigh CROOK

Hearing: 30 March 2016 at [Withheld]  by AVL to NZ Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board: 

      Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
      Ms T William-Blyth
      Mr R Crotty

Counsel: [withheld]


1. Kelly Leigh Crook, 29, appeared for the first consideration of parole on her sentence of three years four months for wounding with intent to injure and being an accessory after the fact of murder

2. There is an offending history including instances of assaults (including against police) occurring earlier than the wounding and accessory offences.  However, Ms Crook has not been in prison before.

3. The prison security classification is low/medium, the RoC*Rol of 0.10633 and the sentence expiry date is 11 April 2018.  We have no Judges sentencing notes or summary of facts.  They will be important for the next hearing.  We do have a pre sentence report from which we learn that offending factors include anti-social peers and lifestyle with problematic drug use, poor decision making and minimising of offending.

4. Ms Crook accepted that those factors were probably accurate.  She pointed to her difficult upbringing but was not inclined to present that as the major factor.

5. We advised Ms Crook that we had in advance of this hearing seen representatives of the victim’s family.  We conveyed the information that they were strongly opposed to any release on parole and that when, inevitably, release did occur it should be to a place distant from them.

6. We have only a partial parole assessment report.  That is because of the relatively recent sentencing on 18 February 2016.  However, it is a helpful report in the sense that it does set out a sentence plan which includes the [Withheld] programme, the [Withheld] Programme and the [Withheld] programme.

7. In support of Ms Crook, [Withheld] said that there was motivation to address the offending and indicated that Ms Crook had overcome the remand situation of disruptive behaviour and misconduct.  There is some uncertainty as to when the programmes might be available.  There is a suggestion that the [Withheld] could commence in June 2016. [Withheld] is no longer available at [Withheld] although the [Withheld] Programme for Women is.  Ms Crook says that she has made application to do an appropriate programme such as [Withheld] or the [Withheld] or [Withheld].  We think such a programme would be important either before or after the [Withheld] but we have to leave that to prison authorities to work through.

8. Either way we believe that it will take some time for Ms Crook to work on rehabilitation and reintegration sufficiently to reduce her risk to make release on parole a realistic prospect.

9. Certainly, at this stage, risk is undue.

10. We are going to schedule Ms Crook to be seen in September 2017.  [Withheld would have preferred something substantially earlier but to our way of thinking the programmes are necessary and will take a reasonable time particularly if they are followed by reintegrative activity including Self Care and Release to Work and that sort of thing.

11. We are qualifying that decision by applying the provisions of section 21A(c) of the Parole Act.  We are specifying certain “relevant activities” which we expect Ms Crook to have completed by the time she is next seen by the Board.  Those relevant activities are the [Withheld] Programme and either [Withheld] or an equivalent type programme such as the [Withheld] or the [Withheld] Programme for Women.

12. In accordance with section 26(3) of the Parole Act we note that the date of the next hearing may be advanced.  The effect of the section is that if the Prison Manager considers that the relevant activities have been completed earlier than September 2017, or considers that there has been a significant change in Ms Crook’s circumstances relevant to her release on parole, then the Prison Manager must notify the Board as soon as practicable and a referral may be made by the Board’s Chairperson or a Panel Convenor for a further consideration of parole at an earlier date.

13. In the meantime, with risk remaining undue, parole is declined.


Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor