Benjamin Todd WHITCOMBE 14/9/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Benjamin Todd WHITCOMBE

Hearing: 14 September 2020

at Rolleston Prison via SVMR to

New Zealand Parole Board Head Office

Members of the Board: Sir Ron Young (Chairperson), Ms F Pimm, Mr P Elenio

Counsel: Andrew Bailey

In Attendance: (withheld) (Case Manager)

(withheld) (Reintegration Coordinator)

(withheld) (Social Worker)


  1. Mr Whitcombe, who is 24 years of age, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for  exporting, importing  and possession of objectionable material.  He has a final release date of June 2021.  His security classification is low.  He has a previous conviction of similar offending in 2015.
  2. We saw him last in June 2019.  At that stage, we noted that he had done the STOP Programme previously.  He was to do the Child Sex Offender Treatment Programme.  We noted then that Mr Whitcombe had a tentative assessment of (withheld).
  3. As to the current position, the psychologist noted that Mr Whitcombe continued to offend while he was subject to the 2015 sanction of home detention and when he had completed the STOP Programme.
  4. Mr Whitcombe has now completed the Child Sex Offender Treatment Programme.  He has had a month in the Reflections Group and is now about to start in the graduate’s group.  Although there is some concern about his manipulative behaviour and the fact that he pushes boundaries, overall things appear to have improved.  Mr Whitcombe said that he has been improving his social skills.  The concern was that while he had an intellectual understanding of the programme, he didn’t necessarily have the appropriate emotional connection to it.
  5. He remains a high risk.  Mr Whitcombe today, very realistically, accepted that further time on the graduate’s programme focussing on the areas where he needed help was appropriate.  We agree.  In any event, he does not have any accommodation currently.  He has been assessed for the ESO, although as (withheld) pointed out, because his offending had not involved contact offending, it may not be pursued.
  6. We will see him again therefore by the end of February 2021.  In the meantime, we acknowledge that he does appear to have a good support group in (withheld) with his family and (withheld).  He has sought accommodation with (withheld) in (withheld), and that seems an appropriate way forward.  We think it very important that he have a reintegration meeting with all of his family members prior to the February 2021 hearing with the Parole Board.
  7. In the meantime, he remains an undue risk.

Sir Ron Young