Anthony Lawrence ROMA - 09/07/2018
Application for recall
Under section 60(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Delegate for The Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections
Anthony Lawrence ROMA
Hearing: 9 July 2018 at Mt Eden Corrections Facility via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board:
- Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
- Mr P Elenio
- Mr M Quigg
- Ms Y Olsen for Applicant
- Mr M Williams for Applicant
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- The Board has considered an application for Anthony Lawrence Roma, 52, to be recalled from parole to prison to continue serving his life sentence for the murder of a young child in 1991.
- Mr Roma was released on parole in 2003 but recalled in 2004 following an indecent act in front of children at a shopping centre.
- He was released again on 14 December 2011 with standard conditions for life, a special condition barring the possession or consumption of alcohol or drugs also for life and other special conditions for 10 years from the date of release.
- Mr Roma escaped a final recall order in 2016 following alcohol impaired driving.
- This current application has been made by [withheld] on behalf of the Chief Executive.
- It is supported by an affidavit of Probation Officer, [withheld], who attended the hearing with Ms Olsen and with Mr Williams prosecuting.
- Mr Roma was not represented. He told us that he had been advised just over the last few days by counsel, [withheld], that she would not be able to appear for him because of her commitments to another matter. Mr Roma told us, however, that he was happy for the hearing to proceed and, indeed, he spoke very well to us during this hearing. He confirmed his understanding of the reasons for the application. He identified the essential question for us which is, of course, whether risk to community safety is undue.
- In written submissions provided by Ms Olsen and Mr Williams, we have been advised of the consumption of alcohol and of a motor accident on 9 June 2018 [withheld]. That information has been outlined in some detail in [withheld]’s affidavit and was subject to Mr Roma’s own commentary to us. [withheld]. He appreciated that he was receiving care in hospital and subsequently at a residential respite centre in [withheld]. Mr Roma’s own view is that he was discharged from care prematurely and without the strength he felt he needed in the community.
- On the other hand, he has confirmed to us that he is now on medication which he says is of benefit to him.
- We do have a clear understanding of the points Mr Roma has made to us. We have sympathy for him in the need for further assistance and strengthening and we hope that there can be a process established towards that. However, the Board is not able to be satisfied that risk is other than undue. There are issues needing careful consideration and Board will need some reassurance through a psychological assessment report which will take into account all of the recent circumstances.
- For that reason, we are finding a ground of undue risk to be made out, quite apart from breach of conditions and the commission of an offence punishable by imprisonment and we have no option but to make a final recall order.
- Mr Roma will be scheduled to be seen by an extended Board in November 2018.
- No assurances can be offered to Mr Roma about the outcome of the next hearing, but we certainly hope that his position has been improved including through oversight from the team in [withheld]. We would hope also that he can be seen promptly by a psychologist for assessment and the preparation of the report which the Board will require at the next hearing.
- We note that Mr Roma did mention to us the prospect of a release to residential rehabilitation. He spoke specifically of [withheld]. That is something that he will need to discuss, not only with his case manager but with the psychologist when he is seen because the next Board would want to have advice as to the appropriateness of that sort of pathway.