Jeremy KERR - 09/12/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Jeremy Hamish KERR

Hearing: 9 December 2019

at Tongariro Prison

Members of the Board:

  • Judge C Blackie – Panel Convenor
  • Mr L Tawera
  • Mr B McMurray

Support Persons:

  • [withheld]


  1. Jeremy Hamish Kerr appeared again before the Parole Board on 9 December 2019.
  2. Mr Kerr is serving a sentence of nine years, nine months’ imprisonment on a combination of charges involving blackmail (the principal charge) together with possession of drugs for the purposes of supply.
  3. His sentence commencement date was 23 March 2016 and his sentence end date is 13 July 2025.
  4. Mr Kerr has a security classification of minimum and a RoC*RoI of .306.
  5. When last seen by the Board in March 2019 it was noted that Mr Kerr was gainfully employed within the prison, but that his current safety plan was not sufficient to mitigate risk.
  6. The blackmail charge in respect of Mr Kerr involved the letter to Fonterra threatening the release of chemicals into milk products marketed by Fonterrra.  News of Mr Kerr’s activities had far-reaching effects not only for Fonterra but for New Zealand as a whole.
  7. Whereas the Board in March were generally satisfied with his safety plan as far as the principal charge was concerned they nevertheless deferred consideration of parole for a further period as they were concerned that his plan did not adequately deal with potential financial pressures, which appeared to have some significant bearing on his original offending – for the blackmail.
  8. Of concern to the Board today is the fact that Mr Kerr’s supplementary offending relating to the position of drugs does not feature to any significant degree in his safety plan.  When looked as a standalone offending the sentencing Judge considered that it would have justified a starting point as far as a sentence of imprisonment was concerned of up to three years and three months.  Mr Kerr was found to be in possession of 32,000 pills with a street value of some $64,000.  His offending was therefore not insignificant and had he been dealt with solely for drug offending no doubt his safety plan would have been much more focused in that regard.
  9. At today’s date, issues relating to the drug offending not being fully resolved, the Board is of the view that Mr Kerr remains an undue risk to the community and parole is therefore declined.
  10. He should, however, be seen again in the early part of next year, by the end of February 2020, by which time the Board anticipates that he would have been able to strengthen his safety plan particularly with regard to drug offending risks.
  11. Also of concern to the Board is the fact that his ultimate release may not go unnoticed by the media.  Mr Kerr should also include in his safety plan the strategies that he intends to adopt if approached by the media post-release and also the knowledge within the community of his release, particularly those who may have had some association with his drug-related offending.

Judge C Blackie
Panel Convenor