Pakanui MORICE 26/2/2021
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 25 February 2021
at Christchurch Men’s Prison via AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board: Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
Assoc. Prof. P Brinded
Dr G Coyle
Mr S Perry
In attendance: (withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Mr Morice, who is 34 years of age, was convicted in 2004 of murder. His security classification is minimum. This is his first time before the Board. Before we began talking to Mr Morice, we gave him a very brief summary of what the victims had told us, in particular their opposition to any release on parole and, if and when parole was granted, limitation on where Mr Morrice could live.
- As far as the facts are concerned, Mr Morice and another man arrived at the deceased's shelter. It appears as though they had driven by the deceased’s shelter before the day of the murder. They then began beating the deceased with wooden palings. They left and returned and beat him again. It seems that they left and returned at least three or four times, hitting with fence palings, fists and kicking him in the head. Eventually he died. The deceased was a vulnerable man.
- We have a psychological report relating to Mr Morice. He identifies a serious misuse of alcohol, cannabis and other drugs before the murder. Initially Mr Morice struggled in prison and misbehaved, but since 2016, some five years now, his conduct has been positive within the prison, reflected in the security classification. He has had problems managing the emotions that have arisen from his offending. There have been (withheld) from time to time.
- Initially it was thought that the Special Treatment Unit for Violent Offenders was an appropriate way for his rehabilitation. However, after an assessment it was considered that his risk was not sufficiently high, and the STURP Programme was removed from his rehabilitation. Mr Morice is assessed at low risk of reoffending.
- The way forward now is, the psychologist says, for a period of one-on-one counselling, and the possibility after that of the Drug Treatment Programme. The counselling should start in later 2021. He could then move to reintegration. In conversation with Mr Morice, he identified alcohol, drugs and contact with the wrong people as a significant factor. Mr Morice had no convictions at all prior to this offending.
- The psychologist noted, and we agree, that Mr Morice does appear to have a pervasive sense of guilt and remorse for the offending. We consider he needs some help himself to come to terms with what he did and manage his own emotions. We invite the prison to give consideration to providing that help.
- In the meantime, he remains an undue risk. We will see him in January 2022. We have said to him that we do not necessarily think he would be ready for release then, but we do want to keep an eye on his progress.
Sir Ron Young