Basil Raymond HEAZLEWOOD - 18/02/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Basil Raymond HEAZLEWOOD
Hearing: 18 February 2019
at Rolleston Prison via AVL to New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board:
- Ms M Coleman (Panel Convenor)
- Mr L Comer
- Ms M More
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Basil Raymond Heazlewood, who is 78, appeared before the Board today for further consideration of parole on a seven-year six-month sentence for the rape of a girl aged between 12 and 16 and the rape of a girl under the age of 12. Mr Heazlewood was also convicted of other sexual offending against girls aged both under 12 and between 12 and 16.
- The offending occurred over a 25 year period. There were five victims, including [withheld].
- Mr Heazlewood’s statutory release date is 10 November 2021.
- Mr Heazlewood was last before the Board in December 2017. At that point he had not yet been assessed for suitability for the Short Intervention Programme for child sex offenders. Mr Heazlewood, while expressing motivation to complete it, said that he could not remember any of the offending.
- The Board has met with two of Mr Heazlewood's victims today. One of them said that she was both prepared and ready to forgive him. She had a serious health condition last year and wants closure on this episode in her life. She is interested in attending a restorative justice conference which Mr Heazlewood told the Board today he was prepared to do. Mr Heazlewood further said that meeting with one or more of his victims in a restorative justice environment may assist in him being able to recall the offending so that he can get the treatment that had has been identified for him.
- The victims once again asked that he not be able to enter [withheld] districts. They also consider he should serve his whole sentence.
- The Board has a psychological report before it today dated November 2018. The psychologist says that Mr Heazlewood's claim that he cannot recall any aspect of his sexual offending is implausible given his intact cognitive functioning and his ability to recall other contextual events during the same time period. The psychologist goes on to say that his claim of such specific memory loss is a form of denial. The psychologist says that Mr Heazlewood’s unwillingness to acknowledge his historical offending is likely due to it being inconsistent with his current self-image, and he may be concerned about the possible implications for his support system.
- The Board discussed that with Mr Heazlewood today. He said that [withheld], while finding it difficult initially to accept that he is responsible for the offending, has accepted it. That said, one of the other barriers to release for Mr Heazlewood today is the lack of an approved address. The address of [withheld] is not suitable, both due to its proximity to areas where children congregate but also because [withheld] saw no difficulty with grandchildren and great grandchildren visiting the family home.
- The Board was uncertain whether Mr Heazlewood has completed the requisite safety planning with the psychologist. He says that he has spent some time over the past five weeks with a psychologist on work related to safety planning. It appears from talking to him today that work is still ongoing. We ask that as part of that work his memory recall of the offences is re-discussed with him. As he himself recognises, being able to that treatment is likely to engender more confidence in a future Board that his risk is not undue.
- Mr Heazlewood told the Board today that a referral has been made to [withheld] for accommodation. One of the issues that needs to be covered in any release plan proposed is what will happen after the short period of support through [withheld] ends. Mr Heazlewood said the plan is that [withheld] and he will buy a property that is suitable for him to live in. There is an element of uncertainty attached to that which he needs to consider. Further, proximity to children was only part of the reason for the current address being unsuitable. If he wants to reside with [withheld] he is going to need to provide strong evidence that [withheld] is fully aware that he acknowledges he is responsible for this offending and that there is a very clear plan in place to keep children away from the house.
- Parole today is declined. Mr Heazlewood will be seen again in February 2020 and by the end of February 2020 at the latest. Mr Heazlewood was advised at today's hearing that if all these matters are able to be achieved in advance of that date, he can apply under section 26 of the Parole Act for an earlier hearing.
- Once Mr Heazlewood's release plan and safety planning is complete there needs to be a reintegration meeting of his supporters so they are aware both of his responsibility for the offending but also of his safety plan and how they need to support him. The Board asks that his psychologist, case manager and probation officer also attend. Copies of the minutes of that meeting should be provided to the Board for the next hearing.
Ms M Coleman