Alfred Thomas VINCENT - 20/11/2018
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Alfred Thomas VINCENT
Hearing: 20 November 2018
at Rimutaka Prison via AVL from Upper Hutt Community Corrections
Members of the Board:
- Ms K Snook – Panel Convenor
- Assoc. Prof P Brinded
- Ms W Taumaunu
- Mr J Thomson
- Ms S Shone
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Alfred Thomas Vincent, 81, appeared for the further consideration of parole in relation to a sentence of preventive detention for indecent assaults on males aged around 14. Mr Vincent has been in prison for over 50 years on the sentence.
- Mr Vincent was due to appear before a Board on 21 August 2018. He waived his appearance at that Board. He has [withheld] as well as other health issues and is in the high dependency unit of the prison.
- The last Board noted that no further treatment is possible. We understand that Mr Vincent started the Kia Marama programme for child sex offenders four times and completed it once. He is regarded as remaining an untreated child sex offender.
- Mr Vincent continues to decline in both health and cognitive functioning. However he continues to display inappropriate behaviour. The parole assessment report refers to this and notes in particular an incident that occurred on 30 August 2018.
- The latest psychological assessment is dated 16 July 2018 and notes that people with [withheld] exhibit disinhibited behaviour, including sexual behaviours. This continues to be a pattern in Mr Vincent’s case that was also present prior to the onset of [withheld].
- The recommendation of the psychologist is that it is likely Mr Vincent’s risk could be managed by a residential facility [withheld]. We are not certain that we share that confidence.
- Ms Shone appeared today for Mr Vincent. Mr Vincent appeared before the Board as well. Ms Shone said that she was not seeking parole for her client. She acknowledged that there are limited prospects of safe accommodation for Mr Vincent.
- In terms of a way forward, Ms Shone suggested that she obtain a needs assessment and a multi-disciplinary meeting be held. We understand that the process of appointing a welfare guardian has also been initiated by the prison health team and this needs to be finalised.
- Ms Shone also referred to the possibility of Mr Vincent qualifying for a compassionate release under section 41 of the Parole Act 2002. We note that the August 2018 Board was not satisfied that point had been reached and we too are not certain that Mr Vincent satisfies the legal test for a compassionate release at this time. In addition we note that it is only on referral by the Chairperson under section 41 that a Board can consider the question of a compassionate release.
- It would seem to this Board that, as with all matters under the Parole Act 2002, the guiding principal as set out in s7(1) of the Parole Act 2002 would continue to apply to any decision about compassionate release. That is that the paramount consideration for the Board, in every case, is the safety of the community. In addition, any compassionate release would require the availability of suitable accommodation for Mr Vincent.
- Parole is declined. Risk remains undue at this time in the absence of a clear release plan and proposal for Mr Vincent directed at both his care and the safety of the community including those other people who may be residing with him in any facility and their visitors.
- Ms Shone asked the Board to schedule Mr Vincent to be seen again in February 2019. We considered that submission. However we are of the view that there is still quite a bit of work to be completed before an appropriate plan for Mr Vincent may be able to be presented to the Board.
- We will schedule Mr Vincent to be seen again by a Board in May 2019 and no later than the end of that month. The Board notes that there is no obligation on Mr Vincent to attend that hearing but, of course, he may if he wishes to. We ask for an updating psychological assessment for that next hearing.
Ms K Snook