Murray Oscar KANNEWISCHER 16/7/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 16 July 2020

at Otago Corrections Facility Prison

Members of the Board: Judge D Mather (Panel Convenor), Mr C King, Ms P Rose

In Attendance:  Mr G Davies (Principal Case Manager)


  1. Mr Kannewischer is serving a sentence of eight years.  He was convicted by a jury on some 21 charges of sexual offending against (withheld).  The offending occurred between 1963 and 1980.  Some of the charges are representative.  The charges include rape and indecent assault.
  2. The victims were aged between eight and 15 years at the time of the offending, together with one charge when (withheld) was aged 20.  The offending generally occurred  (withheld).  His wife was alive until 2012 and the sentencing Judge noted that she did not believe the complaints (withheld) made.
  3. It is relevant that there appears to have been no offending since 1980.  Having said that (withheld) who we met prior to this hearing both expressed concerns about the risk of future offending if Mr Kannewischer were to have any contact with young females.
  4. The sentencing Judge noted the serious consequences for the victims of Mr Kannewischer’s offending.  The impact on them has been enduring and profound.
  5. For his part Mr Kannewischer has consistently maintained his denial of his offending and he was adamant in that regard at this hearing.  He talked about the lies that had been told by (withheld).
  6. He has one previous conviction only, for common assault in 2013.  The victim was (withheld).
  7. He is now aged 88 and appears for the first time before the Board for consideration of parole.  He has a low RoC*RoI of .04974 and has minimum security.
  8. A recent psychological report assesses him as at low risk.  Because of his denial, age and health he is assessed as not suitable for any rehabilitation programme by way of group programme or individual psychological counselling.
  9. The psychologist recommends that the focus be on safety planning and release planning.
  10. We take account of the views expressed by his victims, both in writing and at the victim meetings.  They are understandably concerned that Mr Kannewischer be released to an address near where they live.  He understands that he will not be able to live in (withheld).  The principal case manager told us that enquiries with (withheld) have been unsuccessful.  Currently application has been made to (withheld).  Mr Kannewischer would be happy to live in (withheld) where he lived prior to being imprisoned, or elsewhere in (withheld).  He currently has no suitable address.
  11. There can be no question of him being ready for release on parole.  We endorse the recommendation that the focus be on safety and release planning.  We do note that he has been assessed as at low risk of re‑offending which (withheld) acknowledged when we met her.  Because of his age and poor physical health his ability to live independently needs careful assessment and he may well require a significant level of community support on release.  A needs assessment in prison was undertaken recently and Mr Kannewischer was not considered suitable for transfer to the high dependency unit at Rimutaka Prison because he still has a basic ability to live independently.
  12. Taking these matters into account we decline parole and schedule Mr Kannewischer’s next appearance before the Board in July 2021, no later than 31 July, by which time the planning referred to above should have progressed.

Judge D Mather

Panel Convenor