James William CORNES - 14/12/2017

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

James William CORNES

Hearing: 14 December 2017

at [withheld] via AVL to NZPB Offices, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Judge D Mather – Panel Convenor
  • Ms F Pimm
  • Ms M More


1. Mr Cornes is serving a sentence of four years six months.  He was convicted of no further than 19 burglaries and a charge of possessing burglary instruments.  He offended over a period of some six months in 2014.
2. He has no offending history in New Zealand but a significant offending history in Australia.  He has served a number of prison sentences there.
3. The last Board in February 2016 noted the importance of Mr Cornes undertaking necessary rehabilitative treatment and deferred him for next consideration of parole for close to two years.
4. Over that period he has completed the medium intensity rehabilitation programme (MIRP).  Questions arose as to the genuineness of his commitment to that programme, but on further enquiry it appears that he did make considerable gains.  He was recently assessed for the short motivational programme (SMP).  The outcome of that was it was not considered necessary that he do the SMP because he was able to identify his learnings from the MIRP and the consequences of his decisions.
5. He has been working outside the wire in the piggery since April 2016.  Over that time he has gained a number of work related skills and also impressed staff with his work ethic.
6. He has completed a detailed safety plan.
7. Very recently he received a work offer from a dairy farmer in [withheld] who has previously employed released prisoners.  Accommodation is provided.  Community Corrections have assessed this proposal as suitable as the employer has been very supportive of other offenders in similar situations.
8. We take into account the extent of Mr Cornes offending, the length of his sentence, and the time remaining until his sentence end date.  He reverted to crime very soon after he arrived in New Zealand but he appears to have been provided with quite inadequate support at that time.  As indicated above he has made positive progress since starting this sentence.
9. In our view no undue risk will arise if Mr Cornes is released now subject to a range of special conditions.  He raised the need for alcohol and drug conditions, and given that there is no evidence of alcohol or drugs featuring in his offending, we will not impose conditions in that regard.  A three month curfew is in our view appropriate particularly if it allows him to work around the farm property.
10. Given the background and the risks associated with the early period following release, we consider it appropriate to obtain a monitoring report after three months.  On receipt of that report the Board can then decide whether to require Mr Cornes’ attendance at a further monitoring hearing.
11. On this basis we direct Mr Cornes’ release on parole on [withheld].  At this point we will impose both standard and special release conditions until sentence end date only.  That can be the subject of review over the next 12 months.

(1) To attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of a Departmental maintenance group to the satisfaction of a Probation Officer.

(2) From [withheld] to 20 March 2018 not to stay away overnight 10pm to 6am daily from the [withheld] where you are living and working without prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(3) To reside at [withheld] and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(4) To notify a Probation Officer before starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.

(5) You are not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.

(6) If required, to comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you, to enable the Parole Board to monitor your compliance with your release conditions.

Judge D Mather
Panel Convenor