John David MILNE - 16/10/2017
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
John David MILNE
Hearing: 16 October 2017
at [withheld] via AVL to NZPB Offices, Wellington
Members of the Board:
- Mr J Thomson – Panel Convenor
- Mr A Hackney
- Ms W Taumaunu
Support Persons: [withheld]
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- John David Milne, at the age of 82, is serving a sentence of eight years one month’s imprisonment. This was imposed on 26 November 2014 and Mr Milne became eligible for parole on 6 August 2017. The sentence ends on 25 January 2022.
- The sentence was imposed for 11 counts of theft by misappropriation and 23 counts of theft by a person in a special relationship. The offending took place over a period of close to 21 years. $2.8 million was stolen from clients and in all there were 32 victims of Mr Milne’s offending.
- Mr Milne has a static risk score of 0.053. He has no previous convictions. The security classification for Mr Milne is minimum.
- The last appearance before the Board was on 16 August 2017. It appeared that Mr Milne struggled to accept that he had committed criminal offences. Rather, he seemed to see his offending as a breach of Law Society rules. The Board noted that Mr Milne had a large number of supporters. It took the view that Mr Milne had to be more open and honest with those who would be supporting him in the community. The Board required him to complete a safety plan and to have a meeting with supporters where he could indicate his areas of risk to them.
- Since the last hearing there have been a number of meetings with Mr Milne’s supporters. He presented his release plan to them and described his high risk situations. In addition, Mr Milne has provided the Board with a brief written safety plan.
- Further, Mr Milne has written a letter to the Board dated 8 September 2017. In the letter he states that he accepts full responsibility for his crime. He says that he offers no excuses and is ashamed of what he has done.
- At the hearing today Mr Milne noted to the Board that during his time in prison he has had time to reflect upon himself.
- Mr Milne has completed the actions required of him by the Board in its decision of 16 August this year.
- When he is released Mr Milne will live with [withheld]. The Probation Officer has no objection to this address. A reintegration meeting was held with [withheld] and her son by AVL.
- Mr Milne’s offending is serious and has caused significant loss to some of the victims of his crimes. However, the Board’s concern is as to whether or not Mr Milne poses an undue risk to the safety of the community. The offending was committed while Mr Milne was in a position of trust as a lawyer. He is no longer working as a lawyer and will not be permitted to do so again. The Board has to take into account the provisions of sections 7 and 28 of the Parole Act 2002. If it is satisfied that Mr Milne no longer poses an undue risk to the safety of the community it may direct his release. He must not be detained any longer than is consistent with the safety of the community.
- With conditions which prevent Mr Milne taking up a position of trust, his risk of offending can be managed successfully in the community.
- Accordingly, his release is directed for 30 October 2017.
- The special and standard conditions will remain in force until the statutory release date.
- The special conditions are:
(1) Undertake and complete appropriate treatment/counselling to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer and treatment provider. The details of the counselling or treatment to be determined by your Probation Officer.
(2) To reside at [withheld] and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(3) To participate in support meetings as may be directed by the Probation Officer.
(4) 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.
(5) Not to engage in any employment, business or voluntary work that involves your handling other people’s money without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(6) Not to give financial or business advice to any other person without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(7) Not to be involved in the handling or management of the money, or the financial accounts or transactions, of any other person, organisation, or business, without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
Mr J Thomson