Sam TEHEI - 09/02/2018
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 9 February 2018
at Waikeria Prison
Members of the Board:
- Hon M A Frater (Panel Convenor)
- Dr J Skipworth
- Mr A Hackney
Counsel: Mr D Allan
In Attendance: [withheld]
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Sam Tehei, aged 55, is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for murder.
- On 18 June 1987, Mr Tehei and other Mongrel Mob associates cruelly raped and murdered a young woman who had been taken to the gang pad.
- Then seven years later, Mr Tehei and his brother were involved in a vicious attack on a fellow inmate of B Block at Auckland Men’s Prison. As a result, he was sentenced to a finite term of 12 years imprisonment for attempted murder and his parole eligibility date was adjusted to 13 April 2005.
- It took Mr Tehei a long time to address the causes of his offending and demonstrate change.
- The Board which he appeared before in February last year noted that notwithstanding his long history of association with the Mongrel Mob and a recent adverse Intel report there had been positive reports from his release to work employer and evidence of positive changes in his behaviour and attitude. The Board acknowledged that he had moved into the early stages of reintegration and encouraged him to continue his progress in that regard.
- He has held a minimum security classification since 2013 and been IDU free since 2010. He completed the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP) in 2015 and is currently housed in the inner self-care unit.
- Mr Tehei has spent a total of eight months on release to work at [withheld], in three separate stints.
- Unfortunately, because of arthritis in his knees, he is no longer able to engage in that type of physical work. Instead, he has been given trusted positions within the prison. From July 2017 he was employed to drive the kai truck around the prison and from January this year, when he obtained his driver’s licence, he has been employed as the Waikeria taxi driver. This means that he is on call and free to drive anywhere on the prison property, as required.
- He has been working with [withheld] for the past three years and from June until the end of last year, he visited them in [withheld] each fortnight to attend transition meetings with offenders released on parole. This gave him a good insight into the issues he is likely to face on release.
- Mr Tehei has been working on his safety plan. He is well aware of his high risk situations. In particular, he identified entitlement issues, the need to listen to others and not impose his views on them, knowing how to deal with people who did not listen to him, and old associates.
- Mr Tehei told us that substances are no longer an issue for him, although he recognised that they could well be a challenge in the community. He says that he cannot take a half way position in relation to drugs. If he starts taking them he will not stop. He is therefore committed to complete abstinence.
- He acknowledges that he continues to have Mongrel Mob affiliations. He says that he is probably a lifetime member. However, he does not want to associate with gang members in the community, as he recognises that that is another high risk situation for him. He says that he wants to make changes from his previous violent lifestyle for the sake of his grandchildren.
- Mr Tehei has been offered a bed at [withheld] from [withheld], and his counsel, Mr Allan, urged us to release him on parole on that day.
- He submitted that, with the work that Mr Tehei has undertaken in custody, the changes he has made in his behaviour and attitude, and the strength of his release plan, he had reached the point where he would no longer pose an undue risk to the safety of the community.
- Over the years, Mr Tehei’s assessed risk of re-offending has reduced markedly. Up until 2015 he was consistently assessed as posing a high risk of violent and general
re-offending. In the psychological report of 2016, that had reduced to moderate/high. In the current report, having regard to the changes in his dynamic risks, his overall risk has been reduced further to moderate.
- We also note that his PCL:R score is now below the range that meets the diagnostic criteria for psychopathy.
- In the view of the report-writer, Mr Tehei’s release plan is viable. And we agree.
- His management risk on release is assessed as low/moderate.
- Mr Tehei is aware that the mother of the victim of his index offence opposes his release, and he accepts, (albeit somewhat reluctantly) the need to stay away from the Hawke's Bay province (meaning from Wairoa in the north to Dannevirke in the south) for victim reasons.
- As his whānau supporters – [withheld] – all live in Hawke's Bay, he has had to build a new support network. He is fortunate to have had the opportunity of working with and getting to know the people at [withheld], over an extended period. On the basis of their knowledge of him and of his reintegrative needs, they have offered to house him beyond the usual three-month period and to support him for a year or more, as needed. This is very important.
- Mr Tehei agrees to be subject to full residential restrictions for the first three months following release and partial residential restrictions for a period thereafter.
- Mr Tehei is hopeful that, in due course, he can obtain employment in the community, possibly as a truck driver. To that end he hopes to obtain his heavy traffic licence after he is released.
- He also plans to have his heavy facial tattoos lasered. He was less sure about the tattoos on his hands. As they clearly identify him as a Mongrel Mob member, he needs to think carefully about having those removed too, if he truly wants to distance himself from that gang.
- In all the circumstances, we are satisfied that Mr Tehei’s risk of re-offending can be managed in the community to the point where it is not undue, provided he complies with the conditions which we will impose.
- Because of the long time that he spent in custody, the conditions include a condition requiring him to attend for face-to-face monitoring hearing in August this year. This will provide an opportunity to review his conditions, particularly the ongoing need for partial residential restrictions.
- Accordingly, Mr Tehei will be released on parole on [withheld] April 2018. Thereafter, he will be subject to the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act 2002 and the prohibition on associating with gangs and the substance abuse condition for life.
- Unless otherwise specified, the rest of the special conditions will continue for five years post-release.
- We expect Mr Tehei to work with a psychologist to review and refresh his safety plan and attend a Whanau Hui with all his supporters, including his psychologist, probation officer and representatives of [withheld], in the period before his release.
- The special conditions are:
(1) To attend for a psychological assessment. Attend and complete any treatment and/or counselling as recommended by the psychological assessment to the satisfaction of your probation officer and treatment provider.
(2) To attend an assessment for substance use. To attend and complete any intervention if and as recommended by the assessment to the satisfaction of your probation officer and programme provider. Details of the appropriate programme to be determined by your probation officer.
(3) To attend any other assessment, programme or intervention directed by your probation officer to the satisfaction of your probation officer and programme provider. Details of the appropriate programme to be determined by your probation officer.
(4) To reside at [withheld] and not to move from that or any subsequently approved address without the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(5) From 9 April 2018, to submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a probation officer and comply with the requirements of full residential restrictions daily, unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer, or as permitted by section 33(4) of the Parole Act 2002.
(6) From 9 July 2018, to submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a probation officer and comply with the requirements of partial residential restrictions. To remain at your approved address between the hours of 10pm and 6am daily, unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer, or as permitted by section 33(4) of the Parole Act 2002.
(7) To reside at and abide by the house rules and tenancy obligations of [withheld] to the satisfaction of your probation officer and [withheld].
(8) To gain written approval from your probation officer prior to starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment (paid or unpaid).
(9) Not to possess use or consume alcohol controlled drugs or psychoactive substances.
(10) To disclose to a Probation Officer, at the earliest opportunity, the start or resumption of any intimate relationship.
(11) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your probation officer.
(12) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with your brother, Warren Tehei, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your probation officer.
(13) To gain written approval from a probation officer prior to leaving the [withheld] District.
(14) Not to enter the Hawke’s Bay province as identified on a map provided by a probation officer, unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(15) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring, and provide access to the approved residence to the probation officer and representatives of the monitoring company, for the purpose of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by the probation officer.
(16) Not to communicate or associate with gangs or gang members, specifically the Mongrel Mob, unless you have the prior written approval of your probation officer.
(17) Not to communicate or associate with any co-offenders of any of your offending unless you have the prior written consent of your probation officer.
(18) If required, to comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing in August 2018 at a time and place to be notified to you, to enable the Parole Board to monitor your compliance with your release conditions.
Hon M A Frater