Clinton Michael DEARMAN - 23/01/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Clinton Michael DEARMAN
Hearing: 23 January 2019
at Rolleston Prison
Members of the Board:
- Judge M Crosbie (Panel Convenor)
- Mr J Thomson
- Dr G Coyle
- Mr P Watts
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Clinton Dearman appears for consideration of early release on parole.
- Mr Dearman is 51 years of age and is serving a sentence of seven years and six months for aggravated robbery. The offending related to robbing the same pharmacy in Dunedin twice. The sentencing attracted a first strike warning and Mr Dearman received a 50% minimum non-parole period. This means that, having been sentenced on 10 October 2013, the parole eligibility date was 30 August 2016 and the sentence release date is 30 May 2020.
- The panel convenor was the sentencing Judge. Indeed, the panel convenor also sentenced Mr Dearman in relation to his 2006 sentence of imprisonment. This issue was raised at the commencement of the hearing and Mr Dearman was provided with an opportunity to have a differently constituted panel. Mr Dearman is represented by counsel Mr Watts and Mr Dearman was invited to confer with Mr Watts if he wished to stop. Mr Dearman and counsel had already considered the issues. They were advised that they had no issue with the panel convenor remaining as part of the quorum. Mr Dearman therefore had an opportunity to have a differently constituted panel but was content to continue. In any event it is to be noted the Mr Dearman received a sentencing indication ahead of the last sentence.
- Mr Watts made submissions in support of Mr Dearman who does seek parole today. Mr Watts highlighted several of the many positive aspects of Mr Dearman’s parole report. Mr Watts highlighted positive pro-social support that Mr Dearman has in the community. The hearing was attended by [withheld] the Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) and [withheld] of the Department of Corrections’ reintegration services.
- The Board is assisted by a number of reports including a psychological report. The last psychological report rates Mr Dearman’s risk of re-offending as moderate and notes that he has complied with all psychological requirements. Mr Dearman is currently classified as minimum security and has a low RoC*Rol rating of 0.312.
- The current parole report notes that Mr Dearman presents with no issues. His PCO spoke positively of him. Indeed, the PCO noted that Mr Dearman was recently the subject of what the Department believes was an assault on him. The PCO noted that Mr Dearman did not retaliate in any way and appears to have utilised the strategies that he has learnt from Departmental programmes.
- Mr Dearman has been seen several times by the Board and was last seen on 15 August 2018. He has completed the Drug Treatment Programme and Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP). The parole report notes that Mr Dearman will engage with [withheld] and Alcohol and Other Drug community support. He will be managed as a high risk offender. The address proposed for parole is [withheld].
- The Board had an extended conversation with Mr Dearman. Clearly the offending which sees Mr Dearman in prison was serious. It appears that the motivation for the offending was an opiate addiction. Mr Dearman’s [withheld] stated that she alerted Mr Dearman’s clinician to his increasing dependence on prescribed drugs. Her view, as confirmed by Mr Dearman, was that the drug was being over prescribed. [withheld]. [withheld] raised these matters in order to demonstrate to the Board that she is watchful of Mr Dearman, and that she will have no compunction in alerting Community Corrections to any relapse that she observes in Mr Dearman.
- Central to the consideration for parole is Mr Dearman’s family. It appears that he has a strong relationship with [withheld] and obviously wishes to spend more time with [withheld]. In addition, [withheld] says that there will be significant community support for Mr Dearman in which she has spent a substantial part of her life. [withheld] advised that there will be a reintegration hui should parole be granted. There is work available for Mr Dearman in the interim on [withheld] lifestyle block. He will have contact with [withheld], addiction services and Community Corrections.
- The Board’s primary role today is to make an assessment of Mr Dearman’s risk. On the last occasion Mr Dearman appeared, the Board noted that he should continue to demonstrate progress with newly learned prosocial skills and to work with staff in the Special Treatment Unit towards the planning of his reintegration. Clearly that has occurred.
- The Board was concerned in August 2018 about the nature and seriousness of Mr Dearman’s offending. The Board supported the recommendation of the psychologist that Mr Dearman should be given the opportunity to show evidence of sustained positive change. The Board declined parole but listed Mr Dearman for a truncated period of six months. This panel of the Board considers that Mr Dearman has demonstrated the sustained positive change that it was looking for.
- Clearly with Mr Dearman’s history there is a risk. The test however is whether such risk is undue. In the Board’s view, the combination of the special conditions set out below, the reintegration and safety plan and community support are such that release on parole can be appropriately managed and that any risk that exists is not undue. Accordingly, the Board will authorise Mr Dearman’s release on parole.
- The additional clauses that the Board wishes to impose alongside the current proposed special conditions are a curfew for six months from 9.00 pm to 7.00 am to answer the door when that curfew is checked. Further, not to possess or consume any alcohol or non-prescription drugs.
- Finally, the Board requires a progress report and Mr Dearman is required to attend the progress hearing in person via AVL from [withheld] to be held in July 2019.
- Mr Dearman’s release date will be [withheld] February 2019. The special conditions that continue through to 6 months following sentence end date are:
(1) To attend an assessment for drug issues and then attend and complete any programme, treatment or intervention as recommended by such an assessment to the satisfaction of a Probation Officer.
(2) To attend and complete any programme, treatment or intervention as directed by, and to the satisfaction of you Probation Officer.
(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 6 months of your release to be at your approved address between the hours of 9:00 pm and 7:00 am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(5) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of a Probation Officer.
(6) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.
(7) 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.
Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.
Judge M Crosbie