Kevin Ronald BISHELL 6/10/2021
Application to discharge condition(s) of Extended Supervision Order
Under section 1070(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Kevin Ronald BISHELL
Department of Corrections
Ms A Brosnahan
In Attendance: (withheld)
Hearing: 6 October 2021
Members of the Board: G Ellis – Panel Convenor
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Kevin Ronald Bishell was released at sentence expiry date on 25 September 2021. He had been serving a sentence of two years six months’ imprisonment for dangerous driving causing death and refusing a blood sample. He was last before the Board on 8 July 2021. The Board noted that he had declined any offence-related treatment while in prison and considered him still an undue risk. He was declined early release on parole but conditions were set for his release at sentence expiry date and the Board added the condition that he not enter the New Plymouth or Waitara area as defined by a probation officer on a map and in writing unless he had the prior written approval of his probation officer.
- Mr Bishell was not represented by counsel when he appeared before the Board on that date. He has since, with the assistance of counsel, Ms Brosnahan, made an application under section 56 of the Parole Act 2002 for variation of those conditions, specifically by removing the prohibition on his entering New Plymouth or Waitara.
- In her written submission counsel made the argument that all of Mr Bishell’s supports are in the New Plymouth and Waitara area and that that is where he intended to undertake the community-based rehabilitation programme that was recommended in the Parole Assessment Report and that he has personally committed to doing.
- We have a memorandum from Community Corrections opposing the discharge of that condition having particular regard to consideration for the victim’s family who live in Waitara.
- Mr Bishell appeared before the Board, supported by (withheld), and represented by Ms Brosnahan as counsel. Ms Brosnahan made the oral submission that, having regard to the response from Corrections, Mr Bishell was now advancing a compromise position where he would no longer seek to remove the prohibition on entering the Waitara area but asks to be permitted to put forward an address for approval in the greater New Plymouth area.
- Specifically, he was proposing through counsel that he be permitted to reside at the home of (withheld), at New Plymouth. It was fairly disclosed that (withheld) was probably unaware of this proposal today but that her address had previously been approved for electronically monitored bail purposes. We were told by counsel and by Mr Bishell that there are alternative addresses available through family members in the greater New Plymouth area but outside Waitara.
- It was emphasised that the community (withheld) that had been identified for Mr Bishell, is provided through the (withheld), which is in the area near to (withheld) address.
- We were told that the accommodation provided for Mr Bishell on release was at (withheld) in a facility that had previously been a rest home but was under the process of conversion to emergency accommodation. For a variety of reasons Mr Bishell is currently residing with his (withheld) in (withheld) in a one‑bedroom flat. All of this was considered unsatisfactory. It has removed Mr Bishell from his essential family support base and, in addition, it has put him at a distance from the very programme which is considered necessary to complete his rehabilitation.
- The Board is aware that the family of his victim did not necessarily oppose Mr Bishell returning to Waitara, but they did expect him to get treatment. The Board has noted that he refused treatment in prison, stipulating that he would seek it in Waitara, or perhaps in New Plymouth, on his own terms. We understand, therefore, why the prohibition was initially stipulated by the releasing Board.
- Having considered the application for variation in the light of the new material now put forward by counsel on behalf of Mr Bishell and accepting the genuineness of his offered compromise and acceptance of a prohibition on entering Waitara while under release conditions, we agree that the variation is appropriate. It is a key consideration that Mr Bishell be encouraged to undertake the rehabilitative programme which is available to him in New Plymouth.
- Accordingly, we direct that the condition stated as number 11 in the special conditions in the Board’s release decision of 8 July 2021 be varied by deleting the words “New Plymouth or” from that condition. Otherwise the stated conditions will remain as they are. The Board will leave it entirely to Community Corrections and Mr Bishell’s probation officer to determine whether or not the (withheld) address in (withheld) or some alternative family address outside the Waitara area, is to be approved.
- The Special Conditions are:
(1) To reside at your approved address, 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) Upon release from prison, to travel directly to an approved address and await the arrival of a Probation Officer and a representative from the monitoring company.
(3) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.
(4) To attend an alcohol and drug assessment, and attend, participate in and complete any treatment or counselling directed by a Probation Officer.
(5) To attend and participate in a departmental programme as directed by a Probation Officer.
(6) To attend an assessment for a departmental programme/maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the programme/maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
(7) To attend appointments with a mental health provider as directed by a Probation Officer.
(8) 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.
(9) Not to drive a motor vehicle unless you are lawfully entitled to do so.
(10) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with the victims' family or any victim of your offending, [including previous offending] directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(11) Not to enter the Waitara area as defined by a probation officer on a map and in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.
(12) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a probation officer in order to monitor your compliance with any conditions relating to your whereabouts.
(13) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring and provide unimpeded access to your approved residence by a probation officer and/or representatives of the monitoring company for the purpose of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by a probation officer.
“Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.
Judge G F Ellis