Benjamin Christopher Missi SWANNN 8/9/2021

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Benjamin Christopher Missi SWANNN

Hearing: 8 September 2021

at Northland Region Corrections Facility via MS Teams

Members of the Board: Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor

Mr L Tawera

In Attendance: Case Manager (withheld)

Principal Corrections Officer (withheld)

DECISION OF THE BOARD

  1. This decision has been issued following consideration of parole in accordance with the provisions of an epidemic management notice issued by the Government on 30 March 2020 and in accordance with section 13A of the Parole Act 2002.  There has been a hearing conducted by a Panel Convenor and a Board member.  All of the usual material has been considered and there has been a discussion involving the Board, Mr Swann, his case manager and PCO.
  2. Benjamin Christopher Missi Swann is making his first appearance before the Board on a sentence of three years imprisonment for serious sexual offending against four young boys who were students at the school he taught and coached at.  He was convicted following a second trial after what the judge described as a vigorous defence.
  3. Mr Swann was in denial in the early stages of his sentence but told us that in November last year after he had had time to reflect on what he did, he accepted responsibility.  As a result he has been waitlisted to attend the Short Intervention Programme and it seems from what we were told today that he has been somewhat impatient to attend and complete that programme.  Mr Swann has otherwise kept himself busy and he outlined a number of courses and personal development opportunities he has taken to date.  He presently works in the kitchen and received a positive report from his PCO who confirmed that he poses no issue so far as his conduct and compliance is concerned.
  4. Mr Swann is waitlisted to participate in the Short Intervention Programme for Child Sex Offenders.  At present he has no date as to when the programme will commence.  His case manager told us there is a waiting list but Mr Swann will be scheduled as soon as a space is available.  Upon release Mr Swann is proposing to live with (withheld) in (withheld).  Concerns have been expressed in the parole assessment report about the proximity of that address to gatherings of children.  No doubt Mr Swann and his case manager will be reflecting on his release proposal in due course.
  5. Parole today is declined.  It is essential in the Board's view that Mr Swann successfully participates in the Short Intervention Programme before we could be satisfied that his risk to the safety of young children in the community was other than undue.  He will be scheduled to return to the Board in nine months, by 30 June 2022.  We have encouraged Mr Swann to engage in whatever reintegration activities can be made available to him upon his completion of the Short Intervention Programme. Having regard to the seriousness of his offending, the Board will be looking for a period of consolidation and testing following his completion of the programme.

N Trendle

Panel Convenor