Kelly Eugene EDMONDS 15/9/2021
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Kelly Eugene EDMONDS
Hearing: 15 September 2021
at Auckland Prison via Microsoft Teams
Members of the Board: Sir Ron Young (Chairperson)
Ms T Sharkey
Counsel: Ms K Borich
Ms T Cooper
In Attendance: (withheld) (Case Manager)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Mr Edmonds, who is 41 years of age, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for attempting to supply methamphetamine. He has a final release date of November 2024. This is his first time before the Parole Board. Mr Edmonds has no other convictions in New Zealand, but he does have convictions in Australia. He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in Australia in 2009 for what was obviously very serious drug offending. Then after his release from prison in 2016 he was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment for violent offending.
- As far as the facts are concerned, this was a sophisticated plan to import methamphetamine through the importation of heavy machinery. Mr Edmonds was one of a number of people involved in the importation. 13.5 kilograms of methamphetamine were found, totalling in value $8.1 million.
- Prior to his sentencing for this offending Mr Edmonds spent some time on a series of rehabilitation programmes in the community. Some of them were residential programmes, others not. We accept that the programmes were extensive, and we have reports from some of the programmes which speak highly of Mr Edmond’s involvement.
- The Parole Assessment Report indicates that the factors relevant to his offending included an unhealthy lifestyle, self-entitled attitude, substance abuse and associating with antisocial people.
- The Parole Assessment Report does not suggest that Mr Edmonds undertakes any rehabilitation in his sentence plan. He has completed a four day drug and alcohol programme. The basis of that conclusion is not because of apparently any rehabilitation that he may have done prior to his sentencing; it is based primarily on the fact that Mr Edmonds has one conviction in New Zealand for supplying methamphetamine and so is assessed as a low risk. That assessment does not take into account his Australian convictions.
- We are concerned that over a period of some 12 years, starting in 2009, Mr Edmonds has had a sentence of imprisonment of eight years, 15 months imprisonment and four years nine months imprisonment on three separate occasions. His offending commenced on each occasion shortly after his release from prison. After he was convicted and sentenced to the violent offending in Australia he was deported and within a very short time he had begun offending with respect to the supply of methamphetamine in New Zealand.
- The second thing of concern to us was a reference in the Parole Assessment Report to his involvement in the Comancheros gang. In the Parole Assessment Report it states:
- A special condition was then suggested for his ultimate release that he not associate with that gang.
- We did not find Mr Edmonds' claims of no association with the Comancheros Motorcycle Club credible. We do not know in a direct sense whether he does have an association with that gang, but it seemed to us unlikely that the case manager had made a series of serious and repetitive mistakes about the same issue.
- We therefore did not find Mr Edmonds’ claims that really, he had no association with them other than an indirect friendship with a gang member convincing.
- We do not consider that Corrections have adequately assessed Mr Edmonds’ risk given our description of the offending above. And so, we do not think it appropriate to release Mr Edmonds because given his offending, given the possible association with the gang and given the inadequate assessment of risk we cannot be satisfied his risk is below undue.
- We do have some information about the rehabilitation programmes he completed prior to coming into prison, but we do not have extensive information about the programmes. Nor do we have any assessment of the value of those rehabilitation programmes and how they might be assessed against Mr Edmonds’ true risk as identified by his Australian and New Zealand offending.
- And so, in those circumstances, we think the best way forward now is for us to obtain a psychological report which will take into account all of his offending in Australia and New Zealand and provide us with an assessment of his risk, an assessment of whether or not the previous rehabilitation programmes he has done adequately meets that risk and, if not, what further rehabilitation might be necessary. In addition, it should identify what if any reintegration might be appropriate.
- We will see Mr Edmonds again by the end of February 2022 with the benefit of a full psychological report based on the issues we have identified above.
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 teleconference discussion involving the Board, the Offender, Counsel and Case Management.
Sir Ron Young