Michelle BLOM - 04/09/2017
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 4 September 2017
at [withheld] via AVL from [withheld]
Members of the Board:
- Ms M Coleman (Panel Convenor)
- Mr J Thomson
- Mr P Elenio
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Michelle Blom, aged 30, appeared today for first consideration of parole. Ms Blom’s parole eligibility date was in April but there was only a partial report available for the Board when she was seen in June 2017 and her hearing was adjourned until today.
- Ms Blom is serving a sentence of two years and nine months for kidnapping. This is her first time in prison, although she has served one community-based sentence. Her RoC*RoI is 0.2258.
- Ms Blom was sentenced for her part in the kidnapping of a young woman. While at Ms Blom’s address the victim was subjected to a prolonged and vicious assault which included her being stripped naked and bound with plastic ties. The Judge accepted that she was not party to the assault and was genuinely remorseful.
- Ms Blom is sentence planned for the SRP and the DTU. She commenced the DTU on 23 August 2017. She has also completed courses by correspondence including for parenting.
- Ms Blom has a long standing problem with methamphetamine and alcohol which, in her written submission to the Board, she says stems back to childhood sexual abuse. She has been receiving counselling for that.
- Ms Blom impressed the Board today with her commitment to long-term change. She said that she felt she was able to deal with her substance addictions and that part of what she hoped to get out of the programmes was skills and tools to deal with the other behaviours that had contributed to her offending. In particular these seemed to be around choices about who she associated with and who she entered into relationships with. Ms Blom said that she had stayed clean for nearly two years at the time of her index offending. She had, however, relapsed into alcohol use and, on the night of the offending, also consumed methamphetamine.
- In order to make the lasting changes that she is seeking, Ms Blom is intending to apply to be paroled to (withheld). She told the Board today that she had applied in the past to (withheld) while on bail. She was rejected at that time but (withheld) have advised Ms Blom that they will reassess her suitability following completion of the DTU.
- The Board received written submissions from (withheld), counsel for Ms Blom. The essence of the submissions was to seek a short three month stand down in order for Ms Blom to come back before the Board following completion of the DTU. By that time (withheld) said that (withheld) will have been able to carry out the assessment. (withheld) also attached letters in support from (withheld).
- Taking all those matters into account, including the fact that Ms Blom is waitlisted to complete the SRP and the need for reports about the effectiveness of the DTU treatment and her progress on that programme, the Board has rescheduled Ms Blom to be seen in February 2018 and by 28 February 2018 at the latest. By this time it will be clear whether Ms Blom does indeed need to complete the SRP in prison prior to release and there will be an outcome of the (withheld) assessment. The Board supports (withheld) as a pathway for Ms Blom.
- Parole today is declined.
Ms M Coleman