Christopher George WRIGHT 21/10/2021

Parole Hearing
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Christopher George WRIGHT
Hearing: 21 October 2021
at Auckland South Corrections Facility via MS Teams

Members of the Board: Judge J P Gittos (Panel Convenor) Mr A Hackney

Counsel: Mr S Tait

In attendance: (withheld) (Case Manager)


1. Christopher George Wright is a 65-year-old man serving a sentence of three years and eight months imposed upon him for a number of significant thefts which occurred over a six-year period. The judge’s sentencing notes indicate that over that period he misappropriated in all sum $1.01 million in tax refunds received by him as an accountant for the benefit of various clients who were his victims. Mr Wright managed to keep this undiscovered over an extended period by the expedient of robbing Peter to pay Paul so to speak, but following a Serious Fraud Office investigation, the reconciliation of his dealings revealed a deficit of some $1.1 million. He has no other criminal history.
2. His counsel Mr Tait urges Board to grant parole today, he points out that Mr Wright has attended some programmes for gambling difficulties whilst on remand and is not eligible for any prison-based programmes due to his low RoC*RoI level. He has two suitable addresses, although the property owned by himself in Auckland Central is presently let and would have to be vacated before he could occupy that. He also has an address approved with (withheld) in Whangarei on a rural property (withheld), which, in our view, would be a more suitable place for him to be released to in the interim.
3. Mr Wright presents as a low risk prisoner. He showed a realistic view of his risk factors
in his interview with us. He is an undischarged bankrupt and has been struck off the accountancy register so is unable to resume any kind of professional practice. He considers himself, at the age of 65 now, to be retired and has no intention of resuming any sort of professional life.
4. In these circumstances the Board considers the risk to be now no longer undue and, accordingly, Mr Wright can now be released on parole with effect from 3 November. His release will be on the following conditions, all of which are to prevail until sentence end date.
5. The special conditions are:
(1) To reside at (withheld), Whangarei, 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.
(2) To attend, participate in and complete programmes from the Problem Gambling Foundation as directed by a Probation Officer.
(3) 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. '
(4) Not to give financial or business advice to any person or entity unless you have the prior written approval of a· Probation Officer.
(5) Not to operate a credit card or apply for or accept any loan from any person or entity unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer. ·
(6) Not to be involved in the handling of money, provision of advice or management of the financial accounts or transactions, of any person or entity, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(7) Not to enter any premises licensed under the Gambling Act 2003, other than supermarkets or dairies, or other place approved in writing by a probation officer.
(8) Not to engage in any betting or gambling either directly or indirectly.
This decision has been issued following consideration of parole in accordance with the provisions of The Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management – COVID-19 – Parole Act 2002 and Sentencing Act 2002) Notice 2020 which activates section 13A of the Parole Act 2002. There has been a hearing conducted by two members and their roles as Panel Convenor and Panel Member. All of the usual material provided for this hearing has been considered, and there has been a Video conference, discussion involving the panel, the offender, counsel and case management.
Judge J P Gittos
Panel Convenor