John Harold LA ROCHE - 12/05/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing for Postponement Order

27(4)(b) of the Parole Act 2002

John Harold LA ROCHE

Hearing: 12 May 2020

at Waikeria Prison via VMR from NZ Parole Board, Head Office Wellington

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Assoc Prof. P Brinded

Mr G Coyle


  1. Mr La Roche was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 1998.  He is 75 years of age.  He did have a history of breaches of non-molestation and protection orders before the murder.  He is on minimum security classification.
  2. We last saw him in May 2018, some two years ago.  At that stage he was an untreated offender.  He did not consider he needed any psychological treatment.
  3. Today we were told by the psychologist that he declined to engage in the preparation of the report.  He claimed that he did not need any psychological help. That approach was confirmed in our extensive discussions today.  Mr La Roche said that he would do psychological counselling if he was ordered to do so.  We made it clear that it was not our function to order him to do anything, if he was motivated then it would be provided.
  4. During the course of the discussion Mr La Roche put a number of roadblocks in place to commence psychological treatment, for example, he said he needed to be convinced that he needed such treatment.  He said he preferred to have a psychiatric assessment.  He asked if we would send him to a secure psychiatric hospital for assessment by a psychiatrist.  We pointed out that we had a forensic assessment from 2018 which concluded that he did not have any mental illness and therefore did not require any hospitalisation.
  5. This report (relevant to today's hearing) did note that if Corrections concluded that Mr La Roche was at risk [withheld].
  6. We made little progress today in discussion with Mr La Roche’s.  We have attempted to explain the reasons why we would like him to undertake risk-based rehabilitation.  He equally seems determined not to have such rehabilitation voluntarily.
  7. Mr La Roche told us today that if he was not granted parole today he would [withheld].  We acknowledge that the PCO picked up on that statement and said that he would assess Mr La Roche for [withheld].  We agree with that approach.
  8. Mr La Roche therefore remains an undue risk. Mr La Roche has not completed any risk based rehabilitation.  We will see him again in two years’ time in April 2022.

Sir Ron Young