Justin Ross GARTHWAITE - 28/05/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 28 May 2020

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

Amended Decision: 3 June 2020

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Assoc Prof. P Brinded

Dr G Coyle

Counsel: Ms J Fyfe


AMENDED Decision of the Board – 3 June 2020

  1. “In our decision of 28 May we conditionally released Mr Garthwaite. The condition to be fulfilled was the confirmation of a residence”.
  2. “That has now been confirmed as [withheld]. Mr Garthwaite may therefore be released on 15 June on the special conditions the Board set on 28 May”

ORIGINAL Decision of the Board – 28 May 2020

  1. Mr Garthwaite was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and rape.  He is 51 years of age, he was first imprisoned in 1997.  He did have some previous convictions of violence and property offending.  His security classification is minimum.
  2. We last saw him in May 2019.  At that stage he had completed the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme, he was in self-care and doing release to work. Mr Garthwaite had hoped to have a [withheld] accommodation release approved but he did not have any particular address.  We considered he should continue with his reintegration and develop his release plan.
  3. As to the current position it is clear Mr Garthwaite’s rehabilitation is completed.  As far as reintegration is concerned he has now been on release to work for three years. We cannot see that anything further is now required for his in-prison reintegration.  
    Mr Garthwaite is assessed as being medium low risk of re-offending.  He has completed a safety plan is as well as a further period of one-on-one psychological counselling.
  4. Today we were advised that Mr Garthwaite did have confirmed accommodation at a [withheld] address for 15 June.  We did not have anything in writing from [withheld] nor did we have an actual address.  With regard to the PAR report it suggested that the high-risk team thought that the appropriate release for Mr Garthwaite was to long-term accommodation.   While that may be the ideal it is simply unrealistic. No such accommodation is available nor could anyone identify any such accommodation in the [withheld] area.  We express our concern however that the PAR report said that because of the high-risk team’s view as to accommodation the case manager had withdrawn the enquiry with [withheld].
  5. It is not appropriate for the case manager to limit the options as to accommodation simply because the high-risk team within Corrections take a view as to what accommodation will be suitable.
  6. The PAR report is a report to the Parole Board.  We want all options canvassed. It will be for us to decide which option is the best rather than any restriction placed on it by the
    high-risk team.
  7. We would have released Mr Garthwaite today if we had formal written confirmation of the [withheld] address. The way forward now we think is as follows; firstly we will adjourn the hearing until next Wednesday 3 June.
  8. We hope by then that there is confirmed accommodation.  If there is then Mr Garthwaite will no longer be an undue risk and may be able to be released on 15 June.
  9. If there is no confirmed accommodation then because of the absence of accommodation he would remain an undue risk and would be seen again by the end of August 2020.
  10. So that it is clear, if Mr Garthwaite is able to identify [withheld] accommodation in the [withheld] Region then as we have said he will be released on
    15 June.  The special conditions that we impose will be for a period of five years save the curfew which will be for a period of three months from his release date.
  11. There are some are recommended special conditions that need to be deleted and some need to be added.  Firstly, we do not think any form of electronic monitoring of curfew is required.  We do think electronic monitoring of the whereabouts conditions is appropriate.
  12. Secondly, we confirm that the curfew will remain even though the electronic monitoring is removed.
  13. Thirdly we have removed the suggestion that we should require disclosure of a relationship.  We do not see that has any relevance to risk.
  14. Fourthly we have deleted the provisions relating to internet access and no contact with under 16year olds, neither of which are related to risk it all.  We have added a monitoring provision which will provide that Mr Garthwaite should see us in person by the end of November 2020 so that we can review his progress on parole.
  15. Special conditions are:

(1) To attend a psychological assessment and attend, participate in and complete any recommended treatment as directed by a probation officer.

(2) To reside at an approved 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 3 months from release, to remain at your approved address between the hours of 10:00pm and 5:00am daily, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer, or as permitted by section 33(4) of the Parole Act 2002.

(4) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer in order to monitor your compliance with any conditions relating to your whereabouts.

(5) 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.

(6) Not to enter the South Island as defined by a Probation Officer in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

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

(8) 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.

Sir Ron Young