Leon ROWLES - 14/11/2018

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 14 November 2018

at Otago Corrections Facility via AVL from Invercargill Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Judge E Paul – Panel Convenor
  • Ms P Rose
  • Mr G Crowley


  • Ms S Saunderson-Warner

Support Persons:

  • [withheld]
  • [withheld]


  1. Leon Rowles appears for a first parole hearing on a seven year one month jail sentence for the vicious unprovoked attack of his victim at a Night ‘n Day store in Wanaka.  The attack being Mr Rowles and his co‑offender on the victim.  He is represented at this hearing by his counsel, Ms Saunderson-Warner.  He is supported by [withheld].
  2. Mr Rowles’ sentence end date is not until 10 June 2022.  He has a very low RoC*RoI and a limited history; the index offending being his only conviction for violence, albeit extreme.  The Board also has information that as a result of this attack the victim is unlikely to return to full recovery prior to the attack.
  3. While in prison Mr Rowles has incurred no misconducts, he has remained IDU-free and he has progressed through his rehabilitation phase to reintegration.  He is currently in self-care and has had approved shopping trips.  In terms of the drivers of his offending particularly substance abuse he has completed the six-month Drug Treatment Programme and is undertaking aftercare.  He has also previously completed the brief and intermediate Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment programmes and also a grief programme.
  4. This Board spent some time questioning Mr Rowles around his substance abuse which has primarily been alcohol but also involved various other drugs.  He tells us at the time of the index offence he had mixed benzos with alcohol.  He has remained drug-free in prison and wishes to abstain from alcohol and drug use in the future.
  5. He has a release proposal to [withheld], which is approved.  He has confirmed employment.  He is to do plastering work with [withheld].
  6. This Board has determined to release Mr Rowles on parole given his low RoC*RoI, his compliance while in prison, completion of programmes and lack of any suggestion of substance abuse while in prison.  Any risks he does present can be mitigated by release conditions.  In particular the special condition (1).  The Board’s reasoning being that that condition in conjunction with his probation officer should identify any heightening of risk should he embark on the use of substances ever again.
  7. On that basis Mr Rowles will be released on parole on [withheld] November 2018.  We suggest to Corrections that he be transferred to an Auckland prison in advance of that date to facilitate his release to [withheld].
  8. He will be subject to the standard conditions and in particular the special conditions through until his sentence date.  In particular this Board is concerned the no substance condition stands for some period of time, given the number of years Mr Rowles has indulged in substance abuse ultimately leading to this terrible offending against his victim.
  9. The conditions are as follows:

    (1) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.

    (2) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offender directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (3) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a Probation Officer.

    (4) To reside at [withheld] or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (5) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (6) For the first three months from the date of your release to be at your approved address between the hours of 10:00pm and 06:00am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.

    (7) To obtain the written approval of a probation officer before starting or changing your position and/or place of employment (including voluntary and unpaid work).  To notify a probation officer if you leave your position of employment.

    (8) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme/maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme/maintenance group as directed by a probation officer.

    Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.

Judge E Paul
Panel Convenor