Robin James PITNEY - 26/09/2017

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Robin James PITNEY

Hearing: 26 September 2017

At (withheld)

Members of the Board:

  • Hon. M A Frater (Panel Convenor)
  • Assoc. Prof. P Brinded
  • Ms F Pimm
  • Mr D Hauraki

Counsel: [withheld]

In attendance: [withheld] – Corrections Psychologist


  1. 41 year old Robin James Pitney is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for the murder of an 11 year old boy in Timaru in 1991.  He was 15 at the time.  He is now 41.
  2. Since he was sentenced in June 1992 Mr Pitney has been released and recalled four times.  In 2002/2003, 2004, 2015/2016 and 2017.
  3. His last release was on 27 March this year to (withheld). This time he only lasted seven weeks in the community before he succumbed to taking drugs and, when he returned a positive drug test, did as he has done so often before, and absconded.
  4. The circumstances leading to his recall this time were almost identical to those which led to his recall in February/March last year.
  5. As a result of these events Mr Pitney’s RoC*Rol score has increased from 0.72781 to 0.80031.  He has a low/medium security classification and is currently housed in (withheld) where he is undertaking the six month Drug Treatment Programme.
  6. He did not seek parole.  He wants to complete the programme and build a strong release plan. He is looking to return to (withheld)for a third time, which, he said the staff there support. He is also fortunate to have the ongoing support of (withheld). In fact a (withheld) mentor visits him regularly.  He is also supported by (withheld), and is rebuilding support with other family members.
  7. Parole is declined today.
  8. The only issue is when to bring Mr Pitney back.
  9. We are not prepared to bring him back immediately following the anticipated conclusion of the DTP at the end of January next year, as Mr Starling asked.  In our view he needs time to consolidate and begin the reintegrative process once more.  How he does that is for others to determine.
  10. Mr Pitney needs to understand that there will be no prospect of parole until he demonstrates that he understands himself and can control his behaviour, In particular, he needs to show that he can deal with difficult situations and act responsibly. He is the one who takes or has taken drugs and he is the one who, in the past, has run off when the going got tough. The future is in his hands.
  11. Mr Pitney’s next hearing will be in September 2018 and must be held before the end of that month, at the latest.
  12. An updated psychological assessment report is required for that hearing.

Hon. M A Frater
Panel Convenor