Paul Mark GOLDING 16/3/2020
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Paul Mark GOLDING
Hearing: 16 March 2020
at Auckland South Corrections Facility via AVL from NZ Parole Board
Members of the Board: Judge G F Ellis – Panel Convenor
Ms P Rose
Ms W Taumaunu
Counsel: Ms M Pecotic
Support Persons: [withheld]
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Paul Mark Golding was sentenced to six years six months’ imprisonment for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and injuring with intent to injure. He was found guilty at jury trial. His sentence commencement date was 17 February 2016. His parole eligibility date was 4 January 2018 and his sentence expiry date 4 May 2022.
- In February of 2014, he returned to his home address finding another person, his victim, who had come to confront him about some issues. Within a brief time of his return home, Mr Golding was joined by a group of six to seven other males who he says were joining him at home for some other planned activity. It is accepted that Mr Golding and his victim were seated facing each other where a discussion was anticipated when, without warning, Mr Golding knocked his victim unconscious and then repeatedly punched him in the face to the extent that required [withheld] because of the damage done. Mr Golding then denied being there.
- The matter went to trial on a defence of self-defence but the victim and others were declared hostile witnesses by the Court on account of the varied and clearly implausible accounts which they offered under oath. Mr Golding did not himself give evidence. He subsequently appealed against sentence.
- It was of concern to the Board that when Mr Golding was asked about the circumstances in which the matter had gone to trial and the victim and others were declared hostile, that he explained there had been a Samoan restorative justice meeting at which apologies were exchanged and money and other gifts were given with an understanding being arrived at that the victim would do his best to enable Golding to avoid conviction. The record of the sentencing judge’s remarks speaks for itself as to the outcome of that process. The Board’s concern is reflected by an earlier conviction on the part of Mr Golding for obstructing or perverting the course of justice. The Board does not ignore the cultural factors behind the restorative process which occurred but it was clear that problems arose where cultural considerations conflicted with fundamental principles of truth, honesty and justice.
- Mr Golding was last before the Board on 18 June 2019. The Board noted then that he admitted the offending. There had been a delay in him undertaking the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme (MIRP) but he had been assessed as suitable and there was a likely starting date in July last year. The Board expected him to complete the MIRP and then engage in reintegration activities including Release to Work if it were available.
- The Parole Assessment Report now before us advises that he completed the MIRP on 30 October and the Living the Change Maintenance Programme. Mr Golding told us that immediately following the MIRP, he had gone on to do the maintenance sessions which have now all been completed. He has prepared a safety plan and he was approved for Release to Work on 29 November 2019 and potential employment was being sought. In the meantime, he has been working [withheld] on the [withheld] team.
- The attending Case Manager confirmed that he had been approved for Release to Work but a significant number of applications to prospective employers had been declined, apparently on the basis of Mr Golding’s known record of violent offending. In the circumstances, it appeared unlikely that he will be offered Release to Work in the foreseeable future.
- Mr Golding has completed all identified rehabilitation. He has an approved release proposal, an address with [withheld] in [withheld] which has been visited and approved as suitable. He has an offer of employment or help to find employment through a contact with [withheld] and he has the support of [withheld] who were represented at the hearing.
- Mr Golding was represented before the Board by Ms Pecotic of counsel. Ms Pecotic had also represented him at his trial and sentencing and she spoke forcefully to a submission for his release.
- After consideration of all of the available material and taking account of what Mr Golding told the Board along with the submissions of his counsel, the Board is satisfied on balance that he no longer poses an undue risk and may be released on conditions such as are proposed.
- The release date will be 30 March 2020. The standard and special conditions are to continue to sentence expiry date. The Board does not require electronic-monitoring but with Mr Golding’s agreement, includes a curfew at his residential address for the first three months between the hours of 10.00 pm and 6.00 am.
- The Board adds a monitoring condition requiring an unattended monitoring hearing under section 29B(1) not later than six months from date of release, that is to be at a date before the end of September 2020. That hearing is directed in the special circumstances including the seriousness of his offending, the time remaining on his sentence, his prior record of offending and the element of witness interference. A progress report will be required for the purposes of that hearing pursuant to s.29B(2)(a).
- His special conditions are now as set out below:
(1) 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.
(2) For 3 months from 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.
(3) Not to communicate or associate, directly or indirectly, with any person known to you to associate with the King Cobras unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offenders directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(5) To disclose to a Probation Officer, at the earliest opportunity, details of any intimate relationship which commences, resumes, or terminates.
(6) 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.
(7) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, [including previous offending] directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(8) To attend, participate in and complete a non-violence assessment and programme as directed by a Probation Officer.
Judge G F Ellis