Robert Stanley LYON - 17/01/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Robert Stanley LYON

Hearing: 17 January 2020

at Waikeria Prison via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
  • Mr A Hackney
  • Dr G Coyle


  • Mr D Allen


  1. Robert Stanley Lyon was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, rape and arson.  The offending involved a terrible attack on a woman and then an attempt to disguise the offending by a number of matters including the arson.  Mr Lyon was imprisoned in 2002.
  2. He is on minimum security classification.  He had no previous convictions before this offending.
  3. When we saw him we advised that we had seen the family of the victim of the offending, by way of a victim hearing, and told him of their views of his release and circumstances.
  4. We last saw Mr Lyon in February 2019.  By that stage he had completed the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP), the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme (ASOTP) and had completed 20 one on one psychological sessions.  He was working outside the wire.  It was hoped then that he would enrol for a PhD.  At that stage it was said that he needed further psychological counselling and the concern was that he lacked empathy.
  5. As far as the current situation is concerned, the psychological report in summary suggested there needed to be a more focused release plan than the one he had prepared.  They also noted the need to improve the content.
  6. As far as reintegration was concerned, the report said further reintegration was required. That might include a visit to [withheld] from his location at Waikeria.
  7. Mr Lyon has been an excellent prisoner.  He has managed to obtain a number of academic qualifications, including a Master’s degree and he now has a subject matter approval to do his PhD.  He is being supported in this work by [withheld] University.  He has had some six reintegration escorts.  He is working in the external grounds and has relative freedom within that context.
  8. We are satisfied that Mr Lyon has completed the rehabilitation part of his sentence but he now needs a period of reintegration.  We acknowledge that he has undertaken some reintegration and escorts within the community but given the very serious offending we want to see that he is tested over an extended period of time.
  9. On questioning of him we think he rather underplayed both his involvement in the offending.  We note he has very limited social support in the community and although currently controlled, he still has a sexual fetish that gave rise to his offending.
  10. In the meantime, we are satisfied he remains an undue risk.  We think the way forward is for a transfer of Mr Lyon to [withheld] prison.  He is to be ultimately released to [withheld] so that would, in our view, be ideal.  That would also enable him to develop his social support in that area.  For example, he indicated that he would wish to join church groups in the [withheld] area and so when he is in [withheld] he should be able to make contact with those persons and develop some personal relationships.
  11. In addition, we accept given that Mr Lyon is hoping to undertake his PhD that a typical release to work programme would not be appropriate for him.  We therefore suggest that Corrections enquire about the possibility of [withheld] sponsoring him as a release to work person and providing opportunities for him each day to go to the university.  Again, that would provide testing it would be appropriate to Mr Lyon and also support his PhD programme.  If transfer to [withheld] is not possible then the alternative would be to consider the possibility of a release to work arrangement with [withheld]. We think the former is preferable given his ultimate release will be to [withheld].
  12. We will see him again by the end of February 2021.

Sir Ron Young