Shamrock Fayne MITCHELL - 28/01/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Shamrock Fayne MITCHELL

Hearing: 28 January 2019

at Invercargill Prison

via AVL to New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Alan Ritchie – Panel Convenor
  • Ms S Driver
  • Mr L Tawera


  1. Shamrock Fayne Mitchell, 45, has appeared for the first consideration of parole on his sentence of four years nine months for the manslaughter of an infant.
  2. There is a limited criminal history but Mr Mitchell has not been in prison before.
  3. The prison security classification is minimum, the RoC*Rol .31455 and the sentence expiry date is 19 April 2021.
  4. The Board has no Judge’s sentencing notes and given the particular nature and circumstances of this offending, we do feel the need for them and we make a request accordingly.
  5. We do have a pre-sentence report and a summary of facts and we do understand that the infant had died with Mr Mitchell having claimed that he had fallen from a couch, but having admitted that he did subsequently shake him.
  6. Mr Mitchell has remained in segregation but did graduate from the Short Rehabilitation Programme on 5 November 2018.
  7. There is general accord that there should be no release to the Southland area given victim concern and, apparently, fears for Mr Mitchell’s own safety. We add that we are aware of a victim view that there be no early release for Mr Mitchell.
  8. Mr Mitchell is proposing release to [withheld].
  9. Our view is that there needs to be some further work done in this case.
  10. First of all, we were not persuaded, from our discussion with Mr Mitchell, that he had genuinely absorbed the lessons from the Short Rehabilitation Programme and we do ask for a report on his work on that programme and the effectiveness of it.
  11. Secondly, we wish to have a greater understanding of the offending on which Mr Mitchell was convicted and we are seeking the Judge’s sentencing notes, as already mentioned.
  12. Thirdly, we wish to have a better understanding of Mr Mitchell’s safety and release proposals.  We are suggesting a reintegration hui by way of AVL ahead of the next hearing.  It is important that Mr Mitchell’s supporters are fully aware of the nature of the offending and the risk factors and how they will be managed.
  13. Finally, we believe that there needs to be a period of consolidation and testing of Mr Mitchell in various settings.  Whether that can be effectively done from a segregated unit is a matter we will have to leave for the consideration of Mr Mitchell and the prison authorities.
  14. In the meantime, we are not satisfied that risk is other than undue and parole is declined.  We will schedule Mr Mitchell to be seen again for the further consideration of parole in July 2019, though we are offering no assurances about the outcome of that hearing.

Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor