Robert Stanley LYON - 07/02/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Robert Stanley LYON

Hearing: 7 February 2019

at Waikeria Prison via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor
  • Sir Ron Young
  • Mr D Hauraki


  • [withheld]


  1. Robert Stanley Lyon is serving a life sentence for murder imposed on 18 October 2002 with a minimum period of imprisonment of 15 years. He was first seen by the Board in February 2017 when he was wait-listed to participate in the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme.
  2. Since then, Mr Lyon has completed the Drug Treatment Programme, the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme, and some 29 sessions with the psychologist.  He told us that he had also commenced reintegration activities being approved to work outside the wire in the case management offices and more recently, on the grounds party where he is largely unsupervised. He was also at pains to explain the studies he has pursued.  He has completed a postgraduate certificate and engaged with [withheld] to enrol for a PhD.
  3. Upon release, Mr Lyon is proposing to live at [withheld]. He will have the support of staff at [withheld] and the support of staff and the resources at [withheld].
  4. Prior to the hearing the Board met with members of his victim’s family. It is obvious that they are still deeply affected by Mr Lyons crime. They do not want him released from prison. They recognise however the likelihood that one day he will be released and if so they do not wish him to be permitted to travel south of [withheld].
  5. The Board received an updating psychological assessment which traced the progress Mr Lyon has made and included with the recommendation that he should be referred for further work with a psychologist to spend more time on developing relationship skills specific to intimate relationships and to increase his insight into the link between personality style and the risk of re-offending.
  6. Mr Lyon declared himself disappointed with the psychologist’s recommendations.  It was clear to us that he did not think that such additional work was necessary in his case. He had spent considerable time himself in the development of his safety plan and in particular the part dealing with his emotions.
  7. The psychological report assessed Mr Lyon as being at moderate to low risk of sexually re-offending. Areas for further work were identified. It seemed to the Board, however, that whilst Mr Lyon was able to articulate an intellectual appreciation of matters that had been covered in the programmes and treatment he has completed, there was a complete lack of empathy or understanding of the views of his victim and, indeed, the opinion of the assessing psychologist.
  8. The Board is of the view that Mr Lyon would benefit from the work identified by the psychologist. Until that work is successfully completed and subject to the usual process of consolidation and testing, we could not be satisfied that his release would not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community.
  9. Parole is declined.  Mr Lyon will be scheduled to return to the Board in 12 months by 7 February 2020.

Mr N Trendle
Panel Convenor