Akustino TAE 17/11/2021
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 17 November 2021
at Auckland South Corrections Facility via MS Teams
Members of the Board: Ms K Snook (Panel Convenor)
Ms T Sharkey
Assoc. Professor K Quince
Counsel: Ms L Smith
Support persons: [withheld]
In Attendance: [withheld] (Case Manager)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Akustino Tae, 42, appeared for the further consideration of parole on a sentence of seven years’ imprisonment for wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm with a firearm. The offending occurred in the context of heightened tensions between the Tribesmen MC and the Killer Beez gangs. Mr Tae is a sergeant at arms for the Tribesmen. He shot and seriously injured [withheld] of the Killer Beez.
- Mr Tae has a RoC*Rol of 0.54103, he is on a low prison security classification, and he has a statutory release date of 25 April 2026.
- Mr Tae saw the Board last on 18 August 2021. That Board noted his completion of 14 one-to-one sessions with [withheld], an experienced clinical psychologist. Essentially as we understand it this work was the MIRP programme but provided one-to-one. The last Board did not have the report from [withheld] about that treatment. The last Board also understood that the Saili Matagi programme was also recommended for Mr Tae.
- As to the current position we had written submissions from Ms Smith who also appeared today. [withheld] appeared via MS Teams and remains in support.
- Mr Tae has completed the treatment with [withheld]. There is a letter confirming this dated 11 August 2021. Mr Tae is said to have participated well. He is said by [withheld] to be in the process of turning his life around and living a violence‑free life. He is noted to be reluctant to extricate himself from his gang affiliations.
- Mr Tae has not been able to transfer to complete the Saili Matagi programme. It has not been possible due to the current lockdown situation in Auckland. We were told today that there are issues too with the prison not wanting Tribesmen and Killer Beez members in the same Saili Matagi programme.
- The other option that is on the table for Mr Tae is that he complete the DTP in [withheld]. He apparently has a place there in a programme that will be completed in around March 2022. It was not clear to us that this was a relevant programme for Mr Tae. He said he has not used methamphetamine since around 2011. He was not using substances on the day of this offending.
- In her oral submissions Ms Smith was initially unclear about the preferred release proposal for Mr Tae. After discussion it appears that the preferred option for Mr Tae would be a release [withheld] to live with [withheld]. We discussed safety concerns as they relate to the safety of Mr Tae and [withheld]. Mr Tae told the Board that he has talked to [withheld]. Mr Tae does not hold safety concerns for himself or [withheld] any more as a result of that conversation. He said he will arrange for restorative justice on any release. [withheld] confirmed that [withheld] has no fears for [withheld] safety either.
- The other release proposal which is on the table is that Mr Tae be released to [withheld]. We have a letter confirming that there is a bed available for him there on 19 January 2022. We were concerned that Mr Tae had only put that proposal on the table as a way of getting out of prison. We are not certain that it is an appropriate programme for Mr Tae. He said he has been told it is a programme for violent offenders. As we understand it the programme is primarily directed at alcohol and drug addiction issues, with some work done on violence. As such it may not be an appropriate programme for Mr Tae.
- We also remain concerned about Mr Tae’s risk. We talked to him about the offending. He was a little vague about what happened on the day. He said that he did have the gun with him in the car. He admitted that it was in his pocket when [withheld] returned to the shop. He said he had been carrying the gun around for a couple of weeks because of escalating tensions in Otara and other shootings there. We asked him where the gun was normally. He said it was at home. He said he had only obtained it a couple of weeks earlier.
- While we could understand aspects of Mr Tae’s explanation for the offending, in the context of his own specific fear about the victim, we were concerned about risk to community safety from someone who was carrying a gun around in his car, at least in the time leading up to this offence.
- We cannot be satisfied today regarding risk. We think it remains undue. We remain concerned about a release proposal, at this time, to [withheld]. Any release [withheld] seems to us to create a risk. We think that the proposal that he go to [withheld] may not be an appropriate one for him. In addition, despite Ms Smith’s submissions, we remain concerned that the treatment that Mr Tae has received to date is not of sufficient intensity given the context of the index offending which involved a serious shooting with a firearm.
- Parole is declined. We will schedule Mr Tae to be seen again by a Board in April 2022. We require expert assistance in determining both risk in Mr Tae’s case as well as appropriate treatment. We ask for a psychological risk assessment which should provide advice to the Board about Mr Tae’s risk, assess gains from the treatment that he has done with [withheld], and contain recommendations both about further treatment and release options.
Ms K Snook