Stoyan Mihaylo MILITCH - 12/02/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Stoyan Mihaylo MILITCH
Hearing: 12 February 2019
at Wanganui Prison via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board:
- Judge N MacLean – Panel Convenor
- Mr L Tawera
- Mr G Crowley
- Ms S Burlace
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Stoyan Mihaylo Militch is before the Board for the second time at age 37, on a sentence of eight years, four months for manslaughter and other offences. It is his first time in prison but he has previous violence in his history. His sentence release date is 5 August 2021.
- The last Board noted that he was about to start the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme (MIRP) and that Board had met the family of his victim, who were concerned about a lack of remorse and talked about geographical restrictions if he was released. The Board wondered whether the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP) might be another programme worth exploring to address substance abuse issues.
- The latest report shows considerable progress has been made. He is now in external self-care and graduated from the MIRP in May last year. He has completed all stipulated maintenance in custody. He has been identified as not needing the DTP.
- He has had guided release and during that met his probation officer along with members of his family. He was able to participate in a picnic. At that hui he raised some concerns about the possibility of GPS-monitoring because his proposed release address is a caravan/annex close by the beach at [withheld] and he was concerned about exposure to saltwater.
- He has been on release to work at [withheld] since July and there are good reports from that. The [withheld] has been approved. Apparently, that is on the coast some 70 kilometres east of [withheld].
- The plan would be that he would remain there initially. We were concerned about how satisfactory that was as an option if he is going to be on his own, with possibly real constraints on availability of employment.
- [withheld], who supported him today, noted that she has friends close by and also the [withheld], who have both promised to keep an eye on him if he is released to that address.
- Mr Militch has qualifications as a chef so that opens up other possibilities of employment for the future.
- As with the previous Board, we met with [withheld].
- All of them still feel very strongly and, are struggling with their grief, from the death.
- Mr Militch has seen submissions that they have submitted.
- The Board pressed him on how he proposes to deal with those very understandable concerns. He says that he will be at pains to ensure that in the unlikely event of coming across any of them he would make sure that he caused no offence and distanced himself immediately. The Board reminded him that he needs to be very aware of the legitimate concerns and be very careful in that area.
- The report tells us in the comments about the MIRP that he apparently, “still considers violence” a possible option. He says he thinks that must be a misprint although when we read the wider context we think that there is something in that and pursued that further.
- He insists, and his family support, plus the Principal Corrections Officer (PCO), insist that he is in fact a changed man from when he came into prison and that he realises he must never again resort to violence.
- We had the benefit of some additional information from Family Court sources which explain a bit more about his family background including a longstanding grievance between Mr Militch and [withheld].
- Mr Militch’s position, when it was put to him that he explore other options in terms of location to restrict the possibility of contact with any of his victims’ relatives or friends, is to emphasise that to him it is important that he have the opportunity to reconnect with [withheld]. There are difficult issues with respect to them, which are outlined in the report we have sighted. The PCO noted that Mr Militch has regular phone conversations with [withheld] as part of a cautious re-introduction into his life.
- One cannot get away from the enormity of the offending and the understandable effect this has had on the victim’s family. It is a matter we need to take into account but our task today is to assess the question of risk to the community generally if he were released.
- At the end of the day we think all that could realistically be achieved in terms of protection for the victim interests but also protection of the community can be achieved by the appropriate comprehensive release conditions including GPS-monitoring and abstinence.
- It will be essential that Mr Militch comply with both the spirit and the letter of the release conditions and he has to be very conscious of the victim’s families concerned.
- We will grant him parole but are putting it out till the end of March, namely [withheld] March 2019 for his release, to help the victim’s families adjust to the new reality.
- There will be the standard conditions and the following special conditions, which are to run through to the sentence end date of 5 August 2021. In addition, the Board will require an attended monitoring hearing in August this year. That will give an opportunity to revisit, if necessary, the conditions to make sure they are still fit for purpose. The only exception to that will be a curfew which will run for three months from [withheld] March.
- With respect to the abstinence clause we explained to him the implications of that in terms of liability to random testing and/or monitoring if required.
- Although Mr Militch insists that he has no connection with the Nomads and has never actually been a member, we think it important to firmly cement that in place and are adding a condition that he not associate with the Nomads gang.
- As far as the whereabouts conditions are concerned, we have modified that slightly from that recommended, to try and accommodate victim concerns so that that will include the [withheld] area. That can all be mapped out in more detail by his probation officer and if necessary, revised at the monitoring hearing in August.
- 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 [withheld] 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 three months from the date of your release, to be at your approved address between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(4) Not to travel south of Palmerston North or to enter the Taupo area, or the Hawkes Bay area (as defined by Council boundaries) without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(5) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a probation officer in order to monitor your compliance with any conditions relating to your whereabouts.
(6) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring and provide unimpeded access to your approved residence by a probation officer and/or representatives of the monitoring company for the purpose of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by a probation officer.
(7) To obtain the written approval of a probation officer before starting or changing your position and/or place of employment (including voluntary and unpaid work). To notify a probation officer if you leave your position of employment.
(8) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a Probation Officer.
(9) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme/maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme/maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
(10) To attend, participate in and complete any other programme, treatment, or counselling as directed by a Probation Officer.
(11) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any of the victims family of your offending, directly or indirectly, including via text or social media, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(12) Not to communicate or associate, directly or indirectly, with any person known to you to associate with the Nomads gang unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(13) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you.
Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.
Judge N MacLean