Sean Gladys SURGEON 4/9/2020
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Sean Gladys SURGEON
Hearing: 4 September 2020
at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board: Ms M More (Panel Convenor), Mr A Spierling, Mr A Hackney
Counsel: Mr M Phelps
Support Persons: (withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Sean Gladys Surgeon is 53, he makes his fourth appearance before the Parole Board on a sentence of three years seven months for two discrete charges of sexual offending against a female under 12. The victim in the 2006 offending was the daughter of a friend of the family, the victim of the March 2017 offending was the daughter of a woman he employed at his rest home.
- On 22 June 2020 Mr Surgeon was convicted of a cumulative sentence of 11 months for unlawful sexual connection with a female under 12. That offending took place in 2014 and the victim was also the daughter of a woman he employed at his rest home. That is a total sentence of four years eight months.
- Mr Surgeon has no offending history.
- Mr Surgeon has a RoC*RoI of .1067, his statutory release date is 10 October 2021, and he has one year one month remaining on his sentence.
- Mr Surgeon’s classification is minimum, he has no negative reports or misconducts and the PCO said there are no issues.
- Mr Surgeon was last before the Board on 3 October 2019 when he was facing the further charge of unlawful sexual connection (the 2014 offending) and told the Board then, he would be entering a not guilty plea.
- The Board has the assistance of a psychological treatment report dated 12 November 2018. The writer said that Mr Surgeon had been a motivated and engaged group member, however on first assessment he had minimised responsibility for his actions. In that report Mr Surgeon disclosed previous undetected offending that took place in 2002 that was reported to the police but he denied it. He did not disclose the 2014 offending.
- Mr Surgeon was represented by counsel Mr Phelps who advised the Board his client was not seeking release. Mr Phelps’ instructions were that Mr Surgeon was seeking accommodation with the (withheld) .
- Before we saw Mr Surgeon we met with the parents of one of his victims. Mr Surgeon was advised that the victims were concerned that he was back before the Board so soon after reconviction, and that they were wanting him restricted from being in Hawke's Bay or Wellington. The preference is for the whole of the North Island. The victims also said that they believe Mr Surgeon will offend again and they are confident there are more than victims.
- Mr Phelps asked the Board for clarification as to whether or not they were considering a whereabouts condition that Mr Surgeon is not to enter Wellington. The Board is unable to make that determination at this time, and no doubt the Department will make the necessary recommendations as to whereabouts conditions before Mr Surgeon comes back before the Board.
- The reality is that Mr Surgeon does not have an approved accommodation, as such his risk is undue and parole is declined.
- The Board raised with Mr Surgeon the issue that the 2014 offending was hitherto undisclosed. He told us the he did not believe that the contact he had with that victim of sexual offending, and he did not even realise that when he had completed the Short Intervention Programme for Child Sex Offenders. He said that following conviction and reviewing his notes from the programme he had come to understand that was sexual offending.
- The Board is concerned that the original psychological assessment and treatment was based on three possible offences, and is seeking more information to confirm whether or not Mr Surgeon has in fact had sufficient rehabilitation. To that end we are asking for a psychological assessment. We ask that the psychologist comments on Mr Surgeon’s current risk, that they comment on his treatment undertaken, and they comment on any further treatment needed. We also asked that the psychologist comments on Mr Surgeon's release proposal.
- Given that Mr Phelps advised accommodation is not likely to be available until February 2021, the Board will see Mr Surgeon again then, with the assistance of that psychological report requested.
Ms M More