Dean WICKLIFFE - 06/08/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 6 August 2019

at Waikeria Prison via AVL from Spring Hill Corrections Facility

Members of the Board:

  • Ms T Williams Blyth – Panel Convenor
  • Dr J Skipworth
  • Mr A Hackney

Supporters: [withheld]


  1. Dean Wickliffe (70) appears for consideration of parole.
  2. On 3 May 1972 Mr Wickliffe was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Since that time he has been recalled to prison approximately six times. The last recall order was made on 30 April 2018.
  3. As expressed by a previous Board in May 2017, and still appears to apply today, each recall was preceded by further offending, including aggravated robbery, escaping, kidnapping, driving with excess breath alcohol, possessing and selling cannabis, and manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine for supply. The latest recall involved driving with excess breath alcohol, driving while disqualified and breach of conditions.
  4. When Mr Wickliffe appeared before the Board in August 2018, he highlighted having the support of his whānau. This was something he said he never previously had. At the conclusion of that hearing the Board requested a psychological assessment. The report was to assess Mr Wickliffe’s risk, consider the treatment necessary.  He was then to complete the treatment. Given Mr Wickliffe’s failures on parole, the Board also requested consideration of a supported residential placement.
  5. Since the last hearing, the Board has received a memorandum from psychological services dated 2 July 2019 and a psychological assessment dated 7 February 2019 addressed to prison sentences.
  6. The February 2019 report makes reference to Mr Wickliffe’s extensive offending history dating back to 1964. The psychologist notes that Mr Wickliffe engaged in 70 individual psychological treatment sessions between February 2009 and January 2017.  The psychologist also comments that:

    “Whilst Mr Wickliffe has completed much psychological treatment, there appears to remain rigidity in his thinking, limiting his ability to consider potential variations in relation to HRS. He takes full responsibility for all his offences and is able to describe precipitating factors but is unable to generalise these to other possible future situations”.

  7. The psychologist further says that:

    “Mr Wickliffe demonstrates limited insight into his pro-offending attitudes and potential future high-risk situations rendering any safety plan ineffective. He demonstrates motivation to engage in community activities and has identified some personal prosocial reports. However, the degree to which he will utilise these upon release is questionable, given his seeming ambivalence about needing support and the type of support he will require”.

  8. The psychologist recommends individual treatment to strengthen his safety plan and continue to identify and challenge pro-offending cognitions and increase insight into potential high-risk situations.
  9. Despite the previous Board’s request for a psychological assessment together with the issues raised in the February 2019 report, the Board have not received a psychological assessment that addresses Mr Wickliffe’s current risk, outstanding treatment needs if any, or an assessment of his release proposal.
  10. The memorandum dated 2 July 2019 advises the Board that four out of six of the individual sessions with the psychologist have been completed. The memorandum then appears to presume that Mr Wickliffe will be released to the community.
  11. With respect, given Mr Wickliffe’s long history of offending, the serious offending for which he received a life sentence, the intense offence focus treatment he has received, the fact that he has been recalled on six occasions together with February 2019 report completed for prison services, the Board finds it difficult to carry out our legal obligation to assess Mr Wickliffe’s risk.
  12. These issues were discussed with Mr Wickliffe. He believes that he has done all he can do.  He highlighted the wide support from his community.  For the first time he has great support.
  13. A couple of weeks ago Mr Wickliffe went to Maketu, the guided release included attending a meeting with his Probation Officer. He and the Probation Officer have come to an agreement that he will join a kaumatua group who meet twice a week and attend cultural events.
  14. There is also the possibility of a three month drink-driving course which Mr Wickliffe has agreed to participate in. He will also work with a psychologist as well as attending te reo classes.
  15. Mr Wickliffe’s immediate aim is to settle into the hauora programme. Income will not be an issue as he is entitled to superannuation. With the assistance of the hauora and Probation any issues will be addressed. Both have been provided with a copy of his safety plan which was completed two weeks ago.
  16. His safety plan is about putting himself first.  He will now avoid confrontations.
  17. On the information before the Board today we are not satisfied that Mr Wickliffe no longer poses an undue risk. Parole is declined.
  18. Mr Wickliffe will be scheduled to see the Board in December 2019 and no later than 30 December 2019.
  19. For the next hearing, as requested in August 2018, the Board requests an addendum psychological report. The report is to assess Mr Wickliffe’s current risk, outstanding treatment needs if any, and an assessment of his release proposal.
  20. The Board would also appreciate a copy of Mr Wickliffe’s current safety plan.

Ms T Williams Blyth
Panel Convenor