Sammy AYOUN SOUD 8/9/2020
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Sammy AYOUN SOUD
Hearing: 08 September 2020
at Spring Hill Correctional Facility via AVL from
New Zealand Parole Board
Members of the Board: Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor, Ms M Dodd, Ms W Taumaunu
Counsel: Ms M Dyhrberg QC Ms Hellyer
Support Persons: (withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Sammy Ayoun Soud is serving a sentence of two years, one month’s imprisonment for wounding with intent to cause injury. He became eligible for parole on 30 August 2020 and he has a statutory release date of 19 January 2022.
- This is Mr Ayoun Soud’s first term of imprisonment and his first recorded offending. It arose in the context of a student gathering where he became severely intoxicated. He was responsible for smashing the glass that he was holding into the head of a victim. He then threw the glass at others, injuring two other victims.
- Mr Ayoun Soud is presently attending the Drug Treatment Programme. He completes the first phase of the six-month programme in November of this year. He has completed 12 of the total 23 sessions. He will begin the relapse prevention plan segment in about four weeks.
- Ms Dyhrberg QC appeared as counsel and made written submissions in advance of the hearing in support of Mr Ayoun Soud’s release on parole to the (withheld) which she supplemented orally. He had been accepted onto the intensive 30 day residential programme and there is flexibility around his start date. She also pointed to the strong support awaiting Mr Ayoun Soud in the community. After graduating from the (withheld) he was to live with (withheld) in (withheld). He would return to study and he had the offer of confirmed part-time employment.
- The Board notes the solid progress Mr Ayoun Soud has made to date. There have been no concerns with his conduct or compliance. We note also the strength of his release plan, including the intensive residential programme for which he has been accepted. Had he completed the programme he is engaged on, we would most likely have concluded that he should transition to (withheld) with the family and other support available to him.
- There is, however, a crucial step remaining on the present phase of the Drug Treatment Programme that provides the framework for Mr Ayoun Soud’s safe release and that is the preparation of his relapse prevention plan. We have reflected on whether, in view of the intensity of the programme he has been accepted for, that step can be dispensed with, but we have concluded that he should complete it first. In the absence of that framework we could not be satisfied that his risk to the safety of the community can be managed on the proposal now before us.
- Mr Ayoun Soud seemed to us to be developing a good foundation for the work ahead. He was supported at the hearing by (withheld) and there is no doubt as to the quality of the support available to him in the community. He has a plan for his future. Having regard to the submissions and material provided by Ms Dyrberg, we have concluded he should be able to return to the Board soon after the current phase of the Drug Treatment Programme is completed.
- Parole is declined today. Mr Ayoun Soud will be scheduled to return to the Board the week beginning 7 December 2020 for parole to be further considered. It would be of assistance to the Board to have a copy of his relapse prevention plan prior to that hearing.
Mr N Trendle