Peter Wayne RYDER - 06/03/2018

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Peter Wayne RYDER

Hearing: 6 March 2018

at Christchurch Men’s Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Hon J W Gendall QC (Panel Convenor)
  • Assoc Prof. P Brinded
  • Ms P Rose
  • Mr L Comer


  • Ms N Pointer

In Attendance:

  • [withheld]

Support Persons:

  • [withheld]
  • [withheld]


  1. Peter Ryder is serving a life sentence imposed on 28 September 1994 for the murder of his 10 year old step-son.  His parole eligibility date was 8 March 2015.
  2. He was seen by the Board on 7 March 2017, which noted that he had been released on parole and re-called on two occasions.
  3. The first recall was on 23 May 2005, when he had been released to [withheld].  Then, he was released on 11 March 2013 only to be recalled pursuant to an interim recall order in July 2013.  He has convictions after his index offending (with his partner being a victim) of assault with intent to injure and threatening to kill.
  4. Mr Ryder completed the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme (MIRP) in 2009, Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) programme in 2010 and Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP) in 2016.
  5. He has until recently been in self-care and was making some progress.  However, he admitted smoking synthetic cannabis in December 2017, which he says occurred on one occasion only and his “addiction got the better of him”.
  6. On an earlier occasion, in December 2007, he had been removed from self-care through implications of drugs and cellphone use but no charges followed.
  7. The Parole Assessment Report records that Mr Ryder was, on an earlier occasion in February 2012, removed from Release to Work because of a positive drug test.  It notes that his behaviour has reflected a tendency towards superficiality and deceit.  Although he had made some gains there have been recent lapses, which cause concern.
  8. He has been removed from self-care and claims that this was because of false allegations or insinuations made by other inmates.  He assures us that he has not been involved in any way in contraband issues.
  9. The review of his scores on the VRS/PCO-SV tests indicate no changes and he remains a high risk prisoner.  He has the support of [withheld], and a release plan, which would involve him availing himself of [withheld].  He has been working with his reintegration workers towards that.
  10. Since August 2017, he enjoyed reintegration outings, including shopping but because of reclassification to low/medium these have been no longer available to him.
  11. At present, counsel asks for a “deferment of parole issues until June because she said that a bed may be available with [withheld] at that time.  She said that investigations are still pending regarding the contraband allegations, which we emphasise he steadfastly denies.
  12. Mr Ryder requires careful and slow reintegration measures, because of his past failures on parole and admitted lapse in December 2017.  We do not accept as credible his claims that only his three fellow inmates all smoked synthetic cannabis regularly but not him.  He needs to be able to recommence reintegration matters so as to prove himself in less restricted situations.
  13. We note that the psychological report confirms that he needs to work on his attitudes around anti-social activities and that: “It would also be advisable, should individual sessions be available, that Mr Ryder explore his index offence of murder.  He has not addressed this to date, which is considered important given the likely links and parallels between factors preceding all of his offences and factors identified as contributing to his lack of progress towards release”.
  14. Given that Mr Ryder had already had the benefit of two releases (which resulted in recalls) when he had not addressed these factors, may be a little surprising.
  15. He is an undue risk to the safety of the community and parole is declined.  He will be seen again in 12 months time, that is in the month of February 2019 and in any event before the end of 28 February.

Hon J W Gendall QC
Panel Convenor