George Charles TROUNSON - 23/08/2016
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
George Charles TROUNSON
Hearing: 23 August 2016
at New Zealand Parole Board, Head Office AVL with [Withheld]
Members of the Board:
- Hon. MA Frater – Panel Convenor
- Judge D Mather
- Assoc. Prof. P Brinded
- Dr S Davis
In attendance: [Withheld]
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- George Charles Trounson was scheduled to be seen today to consider whether he has reached the point where he can safely be re released on parole.
- He is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for murder.
- Since he was sentenced on 26 February 1991 he has been released and recalled six times. He has been back in prison pursuant to the most recent recall application since November 2013.
- On 16 June he advised the Board that he wanted to exercise his right to waive his appearance at this hearing. Then today, he changed his mind.
- In the event, we were able to accommodate him and had a useful discussion with him.
- Mr Trounson was realistic. He did not seek parole. He acknowledged that there had been a decline in his behaviour and attitude in recent months. This was reflected in the number of incident reports, at least two of which resulted in misconduct charges, incurred in May. We also noted that during this time he was exited from the MIRP Maintenance Programme for non-attendance, dismissed from his employment, and was no longer having individual psychological counselling work or generally engaging with [Withheld]. Nor was he on medication.
- Mr Trounson attributed all this to a medical condition which, he told us, he now understands he has suffered for five years or more. He said that, apart from the direct medical problems, as a result of lack of sleep he was irritable and had a pessimistic outlook on life. Following recent [Withheld] he feels very much better.
- He says that he is focused on getting out of the prison and remaining out. He said that he would do anything to get out, and asked the Board for direction as to how best to do so.
- Naturally, given his poor record on release, the Board is, and always will, be very cautious when considering the way forward for Mr Trounson. Nor do we, as a matter of practice and policy, set markers which an offender needs to reach in order to be granted parole.
- However, it is abundantly clear that Mr Trounson will need a strong release plan if he is to be re released and to remain in the community. In our view, this should involve the type of step-down support available through a programme such as that offered by the [Withheld] [Withheld]. Mr Trounson has not actively investigated that possibility, but understands his RoC*RoI falls below the requisite level for acceptance. If that is the case we would certainly support an override to enable him to be considered for that programme. But it is not the only residential programme in the community. There are others which Mr Trounson and his case manager may choose to investigate.
- For now, parole is declined.
- The challenge for Mr Trounson will be to maintain good and stable behaviour in custody over an extended period, and to formulate a robust release and relapse prevention plan.
- He will be seen again during the week beginning 4 September 2017.
- A psychological report is required for that hearing, focusing particularly on his current risk and the strength of his release plan. It would also be helpful to receive a report on his medical condition, if there are any ongoing issues, and a forensic report, if he chooses to re-engage with that service.
Hon. MA Frater