Kelly Leigh CROOK - 31/03/2017
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002; and
Kelly Leigh CROOK
Hearing: 31 March 2017 at [withheld] Prison
Members of the Board:
Mr N Trendle (Panel Convenor)
Ms W Taumaunu
Ms M More
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Kelly Leigh Crook is making a further appearance before the Board on a sentence of three years, four months’ imprisonment for accessory after the fact to murder, wounding with intent to cause injury, assault and other offending. She has 12 months remaining on that sentence with a statutory release date of 11 April 2018.
2. When Ms Crook last appeared for parole to be considered, the Board indicated that she should complete the Drug Treatment Programme and [withheld] or other similar programme. Ms Crook took the opportunity to attend the [withheld] Programme in August last year, successfully completing it in December. She has also completed two of the maintenance programmes. She then successfully applied pursuant to s 26 to return to the Board before she had completed the Drug Treatment Programme as she had an alternative that she wished to present. That alternative involved her release to the [withheld] Trust to complete their residential programme. A letter that she provided to the Board today indicated their ongoing support after completion of the programme.
3. The details of the release proposal before the Board are that she would spend three days at [withheld] in [withheld] before being received onto that course as the [withheld] did not take people directly from prison.
4. In the course of the hearing the Board discussed with Ms Crook her involvement in the offending that led to the death of her victim, Mr Stevens. Whilst she had previously denied participation in the crime by enticing Mr Stevens to visit her address where he was set upon by her two co-offenders, she now freely acknowledges that part of her role. When pressed as to why she had only now chosen to take responsibility for her full role in his death, she said that until she was forced to confront the details of her offending on the [withheld] a programme, she had been in denial. She now acknowledges that what she did was, as she described it, “horrible”. She struggled with her role but she has now been able to work through some of the issues that contributed to her involvement.
5. Since she was last before the Board Ms Crook’s conduct in prison has been less than satisfactory until the end of August last year. That was about the time she entered the [withheld] Programme and staff reported that there has been a positive change in her conduct, compliance and attitude since then. Ms Crook says she is now able to “let go” of things rather than previously “losing the plot”.
6. Having regard to Ms Crook’s level of dependence on substances such as cannabis, the Board is not satisfied that the release proposal in front of it is adequate to deal with that aspect of her risk. We are of the firm view, as was the Board before us, that her completion of the Drug Treatment Programme is essential before we could be satisfied that she meets the statutory test for parole. [withheld], who appeared as counsel, advanced all that could be said in support of her submission that Ms Crook should have the opportunity to attend the [withheld] Programme. We are clear that the Drug Treatment Programme needs to be completed first, before she considers entering the [withheld] Programme. It brings with it the added advantage of complementing the work done by Ms Crook on the [withheld] programme.
7. Parole today is declined. Ms Crook will be scheduled to return to the Board in 10 months’ time by 28 February 2018.
Mr N Trendle