Scott MILLAR - 30/01/2020
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Scott David MILLAR
Hearing: 30 January 2020
at Otago Corrections Facility
Members of the Board:
- Judge A N MacLean – Panel Convenor
- Ms K Snook
- Ms K Coutts
- Ms F Guy Kidd QC
RESERVED DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Scott David Millar is before the Board for the third time on a sentence of three years three months following a recent successful appeal by way of reduction of sentence and a section 26 application. His statutory release date is 21 May 2021.
- The panel convenor today was convenor on the first Board which saw Mr Millar.
- One of the difficult issues that arose at an early stage and as the matter progressed through his sentence was concerns of his victim’s family about the possibility of being released to live in Alexandra where there was guaranteed employment.
- That concern carried through to the second Board and the point was again made to Mr Millar and his family that that seemed to be a legitimate concern and for them to think about the matter further.
- The family have got together and resolved what they see as a solution to that understandable concern of the victim’s family.
- There is now a proposal that he live and work with [withheld].
- [withheld] was present today and told us a little bit about his situation. He said they are a family where he cannot drink alcohol, nor does his wife and their son in moderation.
- He can also provide employment at [withheld] where there is a drug testing regime.
- That change of approach is quite meaningful.
- We passed on to Mr Millar the concerns of the victim’s family. They had once again seen the Board. Those concerns included, that they could still see no expression of remorse from Mr Millar, and were particularly concerned about an indication that Mr Millar had given to the last Board that he would resume social consumption of alcohol.
- Ms Kidd and Mr Millar addressed that concern submitting that that occurred in the context of a panic attack during the hearing and it came as a complete surprise to his parents.
- The case manager today confirmed that his staff assessment is that those observations appeared to have validity. Mr Millar said to us that, particularly as a result of his participation in the Drug Treatment Programme (DTP), his intention is to never drink alcohol again.
- The Board made the point to him it is not just a case of consuming alcohol but driving after consuming alcohol. He is subject to a lengthy finite sentence of disqualification.
- Mr Millar told the Board that he learned a lot from the DTP. This includes a need to change his approach to life and to take up additional interests and hobbies. He said living with [withheld] and with good employment there would also include going fishing with [withheld] and developing positive relationships and interests. He also said he appreciates the need to not bottle things up and to be prepared to seek help when he feels he needs it.
- In response to the information about the victim’s family’s concerns about the genuineness of his remorse, counsel pointed out that there has been a consistent approach throughout to exploring the possibility of restorative justice.
- She and Mr Millar appreciate that, that there needs to be an appropriate time and place for this but Mr Millar told us that he stands by that commitment.
- He appreciates that it is a matter for the victim’s family, but hopes that one day, somehow, it may be possible for him to have an opportunity to express face to face his remorse for the loss of their son who had been a good friend.
- The focus of the Board is on whether release on parole would create an undue risk.
- The risk here is clearly that of resuming consumption of alcohol and in particular driving under the influence.
- The Board is satisfied that the arrangements now proposed for release sufficiently address those conditions. In addition to those proposed, we are also providing a condition not to drive a motor vehicle. He will be subject to electronic monitoring and a curfew. We are also, in light of the seriousness of the offending and a need to just ensure that the conditions are working out as planned, stipulating for a progress hearing in which the Board can be brought up to date as to how things are progressing in terms of the conditions. Also whether there is any need for modification to them. This can be unattended unless there is a direction from the Board to attend.
- Accordingly he will be released on parole on 19 February 2020. The progress hearing is to take place in July 2020.
- He will be otherwise subject to the standard and special conditions to run to his statutory release date. Matters such as his curfew can be reviewed at the progress hearing stage. We reminded him the abstinence condition makes him liable to testing and monitoring if required.
- The special conditions are:
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) Not to enter the Alexandra District as defined by a Probation Officer in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) 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.
(5) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer in order to monitor your compliance with any conditions relating to your whereabouts.
(6) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer and comply with the requirements of partial residential restrictions. To remain at your approved address between the hours of 8.00pm and 5.00 AM daily, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer, or as permitted by section 33(4) of the Parole Act 2002.
(7) Upon release from prison, to travel directly to [withheld] and await the arrival of a Probation Officer and a representative from the monitoring company.
(8) 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.
(9) To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting or changing your position and/or place of employment (including voluntary and unpaid work). To notify a Probation Officer if you leave your position of employment.
(10) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.
(11) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a probation officer.
(12) Not to drive a motor vehicle unless you are lawfully entitled to do so.
(13) 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.
Judge A N MacLean