Stephen Anthony FERNYHOUGH - 19/02/2019

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Conditions hearing

Under section 18(2) (SRD) of the Parole Act 2002

Stephen Anthony FERNYHOUGH

Hearing: 19 February 2019

at Rolleston Prison via AVL to New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Ms M Coleman (Panel Convenor)
  • Mr L Comer
  • Ms M More


  • Mr A Williams


  1. Stephen Anthony Fernyhough, who is 30, appeared before the Board today for further consideration of parole, or the setting of final release conditions.  Mr Fernyhough is coming to the end of a five-year sentence for manslaughter.  His sentence end date is 27 April 2019.
  2. Mr Fernyhough was represented at today's hearing by Mr Williams.  Mr Williams acknowledged that Mr Fernyhough did not have an address to be a paroled to and so the Board was going to turn its mind to the setting of final release conditions.
  3. Both Mr Williams and Mr Fernyhough were very clear that Mr Fernyhough will abide by the victim conditions.  Mr Fernyhough said that he does not want to bring more heartache or pain to the victim's family and has no intention of entering the city of Dunedin.
  4. The conditions that more concerned Mr Fernyhough were that he would prefer not to be subject to an electronically monitored curfew at his address.  This is because he considers that work will be the best protective factor for him.  He says that he has a great ability to work and when working he is kept out of trouble because he is busy.  He thinks that this will be the most important factor for him in not reoffending.  The reason for not wanting to be subject to an electronically monitored curfew is that it may be an impediment to him gaining employment.
  5. Mr Fernyhough was also concerned that he did not want to engage in further programmes in the community.  He considers that he has done enough by way of the programmes in prison and that what he considers will keep him from reoffending is employment.
  6. The Board accepts that employment will be a protective factor for him.  However, Mr Fernyhough has some complex needs both generally and in relation to drugs and alcohol for which treatment and counselling are warranted.  While Mr Fernyhough may not have used drugs or alcohol for five years in prison, it is self-evident that drugs and alcohol are more available in the community than in prison, and therefore a greater risk.
  7. Mr Fernyhough is encouraged to start work with a psychologist in prison so that he can continue that work on release.  If he is required to have further treatment, either generally or for drugs and alcohol, hopefully that can be worked around with employment.
  8. Mr Fernyhough had an interview with [withheld] a few days ago.  He does not have the outcome of that assessment yet.    Mr Fernyhough impressed as genuine in his desire that he will not be returning to prison but, in our view, he will need support for that to happen.
  9. Without accommodation and with no real release plan, the Board is not satisfied at this point in time that his risk is other than undue.  It therefore, moves to set his final release conditions.
  10. Mr Fernyhough was advised at today's hearing that the Board had met with one of his victims this morning.  The Board advised Mr Fernyhough that the victims felt that he needs to serve all of his sentence, that they do not wish him to enter the city of Dunedin and that they have no confidence that he will not reoffend.  In response Mr Fernyhough said that he also felt that he should serve his whole sentence for what he had done.  As noted earlier, Mr Fernyhough was also clear that he does not intend to have any contact with the victims, including inadvertently by going to Dunedin.  For that reason and because we agree that his risk will reduce if he is able to find work, he will not be subject to GPS monitoring of that condition.
  11. Mr Fernyhough will be subject to standard and special conditions for six months past his statutory release date.  The special conditions are as follows:

    (1) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.

    (2) To reside at an address, or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (3) For the first two months following your release, to be at your approved address between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (4) To attend a psychological assessment and attend, participate in and complete any recommended treatment as directed by a Probation Officer.

    (5) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a Probation Officer.

    (6) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, [including previous offending] directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    (7) Not to enter the city of Dunedin as defined by a Probation Officer in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

    Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and/or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.

Ms M Coleman
Panel Convenor