Philip Lyle HANSEN - 20/11/2018
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Philip Lyle HANSEN
Hearing: 20 November 2018
at Rimutaka Prison
Members of the Board:
- Alan Ritchie – Panel Covenor
- Ms G Hughes
- Mr G Crowley
- Mr M Kilbride
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Philip Lyle Hansen, 59, has appeared for the further consideration of parole on his sentence of six years for wounding with intent to injure, assault with intent to injure, assaulting a female and indecent assaults committed against two victims with whom he had been in a relationship at separate times.
- The prison security classification is minimum, the RoC*RoI .08419 and the sentence expiry date is 5 May 2021.
- The extraordinary circumstances of the offending (including the pulling teeth from the victims with pliers) is graphically described in the sentencing material, the psychological report of 31 March 2017 and, indeed, in the last Board decision. That Board observed that the low RoC*RoI was surprising given the extreme nature of his offending. As the Board said, the effect of the RoC*RoI was to render Mr Hansen ineligible for mainstream criminogenic programmes which might otherwise have had some rehabilitative value. The Board mentioned the question of override but also, properly in our view, acknowledged that the nature of the offending would be likely to result in some hostility towards Mr Hansen by other participants in a group programme.
- The Board noted the six marriages and six divorces which Mr Hansen has been through.
- The Board did not see the release proposal as realistic although it noted that Mr Hansen's release address was assessed as suitable just as it has been on this occasion.
- The last Board’s conclusion was that there was a need for individual psychological intervention as recommended by the psychologist. It observed that it could be some time before he would have completed that intervention and have an adequate release plan.
- We have been interested in the Board’s consideration of the prospect of specifying the psychological intervention as a relevant activity under section 21A of the Parole Act. The Board said that to make a section 21A a direction at that stage of the sentence and against various reservations expressed by the Board about Mr Hansen's readiness to engage in meaningful rehabilitation, “savours of sentence management which is not properly the function of the Board”.
- This Board agrees with that assessment of the last Board and has the same issues to confront.
- Mr Kilbride made submissions as strongly as he could that the time may have come for a release of Mr Hansen on parole. Essentially the argument was that Mr Hansen may very well reach the end of his sentence without having had the necessary intervention and that it was likely he would receive it promptly on release and that the release was to what he urged on us to be a prosocial environment which would also mitigate risk.
- We understand that the authorities have their system of priorities but it seems to us that they may, essentially, arise from a lack of resources. We are left in a situation where we are urged to direct a release on parole when there has not been appropriate intervention for what we agree is extreme offending not adequately reflected in the RoC*RoI. We do not have sufficient, or any, information or advice about actual risk sufficient to satisfy us it is not undue and we are not persuaded at this stage of the sentence that it would be safe to direct release. We say that notwithstanding the risk level indicated by the psychologist.
- It is also fair to say that we were left unconvinced by Mr Hansen's acknowledgement of full responsibility for his offending or his understanding of the causes of it. He repeatedly referred to “a black moment".
- On this occasion we will be specifying the recommended psychological intervention as a relevant activity in accordance with section 21A of the Parole Act.
- In accordance with section 26(3) of the Act we note that the date of the next hearing may be advanced. We are setting that next hearing date as being in the month of December 2019. The effect of section 26(3) is that if the prison manager considers that the relevant activity has been completed earlier than December 2019 or considers that there has been a significant change in Mr Hansen’s circumstances relevant to his release on parole, then the prison manager must notify the Board as soon as practicable and a referral may be made by the Board’s Chairperson or a panel convenor for the further consideration of parole at an earlier date.