Siale FOTU - 26/04/2016
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 26 April 2016 via AVL from NZPB Head Office, [withheld] to [withheld] Prison
Members of the Board:
Hon. MA Frater – Panel Convenor
Dr J Skipworth
Dr P Taylor
Ms S Pakura
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. We have seen Siale Fotu today in connection with parole.
2. He is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for a murder committed 22 years ago when he was 15. He is now 38. He has grown up in prison.
3. Last year the Board commented on the positive progress that Mr Fotu had made since his previous hearing. He had maintained a minimum security classification, had not been mentioned in any misconduct reports, was IDU free and, importantly, he had demonstrated insight into his own behaviour and personality.
4. Apart from a couple of misconducts, including possession of a cellphone and/or chargers incurred on his return to [withheld] Prison in September, Mr Fotu generally continued to make good progress until January this year, when he was involved in an incident which led to his reclassification to his current high security status.
5. He was moved to [withheld] just before Christmas for muster reasons and double-bunked. Following an incident the next month, he was charged with assaulting a prison officer and placed on directed segregation.
6. That charge or associated charges remain unresolved. It was unclear to us whether the police are going to lay criminal charges or whether the matter will be dealt with internally. There is even a possibility that the charges will be dropped. Mr Fotu had a clear explanation as to how the incident arose and minimised his culpability for any assault. In our view it is imperative that these matters are resolved sooner rather than later.
7. Mr Fotu is now back in [withheld] Prison, which has enabled him to resume contact with his [withheld].
8. [Withheld], the attending PCO, said that there have been no incidents since Mr Fotu returned and that, all going well, it is possible that his security classification will be reduced back to minimum on the next review, which will be in July.
9. Mr Fotu presented a rather disjointed plan for his release - possibly in [withheld] possibly in [withheld].
10. What is clear is that with the charge or charges hanging over him, Mr Fotu cannot move forward.
11. Parole is declined today. His next scheduled hearing will be in February 2017 and, in any event, before the end of that month. We expect a period of good behaviour in the intervening period.
12. An updated Psychological report is required for that hearing.
Hon. MA Frater