Terrence Peter HEPPELL - 22/09/2017

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Terrence Peter HEPPELL

Hearing: 22 September 2017

at [withheld]

Members of the Board:

  • Judge A Tompkins – Panel Convenor
  • Ms W Taumaunu
  • Mr A Hackney

Counsel: [withheld]


  1. Terrence Heppell appears before the Board for consideration of parole. On 28 October 2016 he was sentenced to two years nine months' imprisonment following conviction for ill treatment and neglect of a vulnerable adult, namely his mother.
  2. The caption summary setting out the police's summary of facts records that in late March 2014 a referral was made by Mr Heppell's mother's GP for an occupational therapist to visit the home where Mr Heppell, his wife (and co-offender) and Mr Heppell's mother all resided together. The occupational therapist visited on 30 May 2014 but despite repeated and urgent recommendations Mr and Mrs Heppell did not take Mr Heppell's mother either to see her GP or to the emergency department after the occupation therapist had noted signs that Mr Heppell's mother may be unwell. That neglect continued through until 13 October 2014, so approximately four and a half months, when an ambulance was called and when the ambulance attended staff found Mr Heppell's mother in appalling conditions with significant pressure wounds and other wounds in circumstances where the neglect that she had suffered was all too apparent. It seems that Mr and Mrs Heppell were convicted after trial and that a subsequent appeal was unsuccessful.
  3. Mr Heppell has a statutory release and sentence end date of 27 July 2019. [withheld] who appeared as Mr Heppell's counsel today submitted that parole should be granted given the very situation-specific nature of Mr Heppell's offending. The unlikelihood of there being ever any further offending of a similar kind (Mr Heppell's mother is now in a rest home and aged in her mid-nineties) and because his reduced level of risk can properly be managed within the community subject to conditions of parole. Whilst the circumstances of the offending and its consequences for Mr Heppell's mother were very severe nevertheless in terms of the assessment of Mr Heppell's risk to the safety of the community the Board accepts [withheld] submission that this was very situation-specific offending and in the circumstances where, although there will be supervised contact between Mr Heppell and his mother (supervised inevitably by the staff of the rest home where she now resides) the Board is satisfied that the risk of further offending can properly be managed in the community.
  4. Accordingly Mr Heppell will be released onto parole as from 2 October 2017 with standard and special conditions to six months past his sentence end date.

(1) Undertake and complete the Short Motivational Programme and abide by the rules of the programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and programme provider.

(2) Undertake and complete any counselling or programme as directed by a Probation Officer and abide by the rules of the programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and programme provider.

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

Judge A Tompkins
Panel Convenor