Stephen SMITH - 01/02/2016
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 1 February 2016 via AVL from NZPB Head Office, Wellington to [withheld]
Members of the Board:
Hon. JW Gendall QC – Panel Convenor
Assoc. Prof. P Brinded
Mr D Hauraki
Ms F Pimm
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Stephen Smith was sentenced on 3 December 1999 for the crime of murder in which he and a co-offender, seriously fuelled by alcohol, beat to death a teenage boy. His parole eligibility date was 12 May 2009.
2. He was released on parole on 3 February 2014 but recalled on 9 September 2014. He again was released on 28 January 2015 and although subject to a recall application, final re-call was declined on 26 March 2015.
3. Nevertheless, after being released on parole again, he was recalled on 4 November 2015. His recalls have arisen because of breaches of parole conditions but he has incurred convictions for excess breath or blood alcohol driving on 15 August 2014 and 8 October 2015. It is abundantly clear that there remains a longstanding alcohol abuse problem.
4. Through his counsel, he accepts that he is not in the position to seek parole today and indeed even if he was, it would not be granted because he remains an undue risk to the safety of the community. He does not have an approved address and accepts that the only option, in that direction, may have to be through [withheld] supported accommodation.
5. There is a need for further rehabilitative and reintegrative measures to be implemented. We agree psychological intervention in the form of one-to-one would be beneficial to enhance his ability to manage his emotions and continuing anxiety issues. Further such counselling should facilitate exploring other pathway options and “consideration be given to Mr Smith participating in Release to Work once a release location is determined … aim to assist him to retain community contact and build a financial basis towards release”. The psychologist further recommends that Mr Smith engage in regular outings into the community once a release address is identified and placement options, such as Self Care within the prison, should be considered.
6. We see those as sensible recommendations.
7. There is considerable work for Mr Smith to undertake before he could be released again on parole and it is declined. He will be seen again in 12 months time, not the six months suggested by his counsel, that is in the week commencing 20 February 2017.
Hon. JW Gendall QC