Robin James PITNEY - 05/09/2018

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Robin James PITNEY

Hearing: 5 September 2018

at Christchurch Men’s Prison

via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor
  • Judge C Blackie
  • Ms F Pimm
  • Assoc Prof. P Brinded


  • Mr M Starling


  1. Robin James Pitney is serving a sentence of life imprisonment imposed on 19 June 1992 for murder. Since then, he has been released and recalled on four occasions. On the last occasion, he was released on 27 March 2017 but recalled less than three months later on 12 June 2017.
  2. Mr Pitney’s RoC*Rol is presently recorded as 0.80031. The psychologist in a previous report noted that he posed a high risk of re-offending. Since his recall, Mr Pitney has successfully completed the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP).  He remained in the unit as a mentor.
  3. Mr Starling appeared as counsel and advised the Board at the outset that Mr Pitney was not anticipating a release on parole. He was recently transferred to commence the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP). Mr Starling advised the Board that Mr Pitney expected to graduate from the programme in March next year. He was then hoping to be transferred to [withheld] where the [withheld] will be assuming responsibility for aspects of the programme. Mr Pitney was highly motivated to participate in that programme and thereafter to engage with [withheld] in his transitioning to the community. He was proposing to live in [withheld] and take advantage of the support from [withheld].
  4. Mr Pitney told us that he valued the time he spent in the DTP as he learned a considerable number of things about himself. In particular, he was able to challenge his core belief of feelings of inadequacy. He also dealt with ways to manage feelings of anger and frustration.
  5. While Mr Pitney is finding the STURP challenging, he is making good progress and is determined to see it through. His principal corrections officer told us that there were no issues with Mr Pitney’s conduct or compliance and that as long as he continues applying himself to the programme as he has shown to date, he will graduate in due course.
  6. Having regard to his high level of risk, it is essential in the Board’s view that Mr Pitney takes advantage of the programmes that have been made available to him since his recall 15 months ago. Until that work is completed and he has developed a solid release proposal, the Board could not be satisfied that his release would not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community.
  7. Parole today is declined. Mr Pitney will be scheduled to return to the Board in 12 months, by 30 September 2019. We anticipate that in that time Mr Pitney will have completed or substantially advanced the matters referred to by his counsel.

Mr N Trendle
Panel Convenor