Shay Barry WEBSTER - 26/01/2018

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Shay Barry WEBSTER

Hearing: 26 January 2018

at Christchurch Prison via AVL to NZPB Offices, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Ms M Coleman – Panel Convenor
  • Mr A Hackney
  • Mr G Crowley

Support Persons:

  • [withheld]


  1. Shay Barry Webster, who is aged 25, appeared before the Board today for further consideration of parole on a five year, three month sentence for manslaughter.
  2. Mr Webster’s statutory release date is 25 July 2018.
  3. Mr Webster has an extensive criminal history running to some five pages of notations.  This includes a number of convictions for violence.  His RoC*RoI is .73024.
  4. Mr Webster was last before the Board in July 2017.  It noted that he had graduated the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP) but had been exited from the unit during the maintenance phase after incurring a misconduct for fighting.  At that stage he had no accommodation but did have the support of [withheld].
  5. Since then Mr Webster has participated in a restorative justice conference.  It appears from the information we have in the Parole Assessment Report and from speaking with a representative of the family yesterday that the restorative justice meeting went reasonably well.  The family accept that Mr Webster is genuinely remorseful for his actions but still feel that Mr Webster’s sentence was too light given the seriousness of his offence.  They want him serve the totality of his sentence.
  6. The family representative raised two further other issues with the Board yesterday.  The first of these was that Mr Webster will need considerable support if he is to remain offence free in the future and that he needs to understand that he needs to abstain from substance use for the rest of his life.  There is a concern from the family that he was not yet accepting of that.  The second issue is that they would prefer Mr Webster to reside outside of the Christchurch area to prevent inadvertent contact with any victims who reside there.
  7. Mr Webster’s release plan was presented to the Board just prior to our hearing and it includes a [withheld] address in Christchurch.  It was also clear from our discussion with Mr Webster and [withheld], from [withheld], that [withheld] is only able to provide support to Mr Webster if he were to be released to the Christchurch area.  This produced something of a dilemma for the Board in light of the expressed views regarding release to the Christchurch area.
  8. The Board discussed this at length with [withheld] and Mr Webster and, in the end, in light of the recognition by the victims that Mr Webster will need solid wraparound support on release the Board has decided that it will release Mr Webster to a Christchurch address.  But we have put in place very tight conditions which are designed to minimise the risk of inadvertent contact.
  9. There will be a five kilometre exclusion zone around any Christchurch-based victims’ address into which Mr Webster will not be permitted to enter.  There will also be a provision for the Probation Officer to extend the exclusion zones to other areas that will be appropriate in order to minimise the possibility of victim contact.  These will include local shopping areas and other such places that inadvertent contact could occur if these are just outside of the 5km radius.  The exclusion zones will be drawn in such a way as to protect the actual address of the victim and may, for this reason, need to extend in places just beyond a strict 5km radius.  Mr Webster will be subject to GPS monitoring to ensure these boundaries are strictly adhered to and he accepts that this is appropriate.
  10. One of the other issues for the Board today was that Mr Webster has yet to start on one‑to-one counselling with a psychologist.  The Board understood that this was to happen in prison but there is no sign of that.  The Board further notes that community corrections are stating that this will happen in the community.  The Board sees it as imperative that the counselling is in place for Mr Webster prior to him leaving prison.  For this reason and, so he is clear about the areas into which he is not to enter, the Board has delayed Mr Webster’s release from prison until 21 February 2018 so that there can be a pre-release reintegration meeting.  The Board anticipates that present at this meeting will be Mr Webster’s Probation Officer, his community-based treating psychologist, [withheld] and [withheld].
  11. A further condition is that Mr Webster will be required to attend a face to face meeting with the Parole Board in May 2018 and by the end of that month at the latest.  This is so the Board can assess, and if necessary amend, any conditions once Mr Webster moves from [withheld] accommodation.
  12. One of the conditions that the Board may look at at that hearing is the curfew condition that we intend to impose.  For the first month following release Mr Webster shall be subject to a curfew from eight o’clock at night until six o’clock in the morning.  This can be varied by a Probation Officer in writing.  It is not intended that this curfew should interfere with Mr Webster attending any of his reintegrative activities that are on his schedule with [withheld].  [withheld] raised today, for example, that drug and alcohol counselling takes place in the evenings.  We anticipate this could be dealt with also at the pre-release reintegration meeting.  Following the first month the curfew shall be relaxed but shall continue in place and shall be from 10.00 pm until 6.00 am.
  13. One of the other special conditions is that Mr Webster is not to possess or consume alcohol or drugs.  Mr Webster was advised at the hearing today that his compliance with that condition can be monitored once he is in the community either through continuous monitoring or being directed by a Probation Officer or a police officer to undergo a screening test.
  14. Three other considerations have been taken into account by the Board in its decision to release Mr Webster.  First, the report from the prison about Mr Webster is a very good one.  He is working in the kitchen and his reports of that work are excellent and his behaviour in recent times has also been very good.  Second, he has completed two intensive rehabilitation programmes, the STURP and a six month Drug Treatment Unit (DTU).  Finally, while formally the support from [withheld] will remain in place for six months only, [withheld] advised the Board today that he anticipates that he will stay in contact with Mr Webster beyond that date.  Mr Webster also understood this and said he would welcome that support from [withheld].
  15. It is the quality of the wraparound support that will be provided to Mr Webster from [withheld] that persuaded the Board that Mr Webster would not be a risk to the safety of the community from now until his sentence end date.  It was also the reason the Board decided not to require him to reside outside of Christchurch but to rather restrict his movements within Christchurch.  In so doing we have tried to meet both victim concerns and our obligation to community safety.  The Board is also mindful that release now under this highly developed structure provides an opportunity for Mr Webster to have an extended period by which he will be under supervision in the community.  In the Board’s view this too better meets the statutory imperative to take into account the safety of the community.
  16. The Board therefore directs Mr Webster’s release on parole on 21 February 2018.  He will be subject to standard and special conditions until six months past his statutory release date.
  17. The special conditions are as follows:

    (1) If directed, undertake and complete an appropriate treatment/counselling to address alcohol and drug issues to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and treatment provider.

    (2) Attend and complete psychological treatment/counselling to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and psychologist.

    (3) To reside at [withheld] and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (4) For the first month of your release not to be away from your approved address between the hours of 8 pm and 6am daily without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer. From 20 March 2018 not to be away from your approved address between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (5) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with any victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.

    (6) 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.

    (7) To submit to electronic monitoring in the form of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology as directed by a Probation Officer in order to monitor your compliance with any conditions relating to your whereabouts and, when issued a cell phone device by the Department, to carry and keep it charged and turned on at all times and to answer it for the purpose of communications with the Probation Officer.

    (8) Not to go within 5 kms of any Christchurch-based victim’s residence or enter any other exclusion zone falling outside of that 5km as identified to you on a map provided by your Probation Officer without the prior written approval of your Probation Officer.

    (9) Not to possess or consume alcohol or use controlled drugs or psychoactive substances.

    (10) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you, to enable the Parole Board to monitor your compliance with your release conditions.

Ms M Coleman
Panel Convenor