Basil MIST 9/7/2022
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Basil Steven MIST
Hearing: 5 July 2022
at Whanganui Prison via MS Teams
Members of the Board:
Ms S Bailey – Panel Convenor
Mr A Spierling
Ms K Coutts
Counsel: Ms D Goodlet
In Attendance: [withheld] - Case Manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Basil Steven Mist appears before the Board again for further consideration of parole. Mr Mist is serving a sentence of 20 years and two months’ imprisonment following his conviction for manslaughter and for serious sexual offending against five young victims. He received a further term of imprisonment when he committed an assault within the prison environment. Mr Mist has six months remaining on his sentence.
- He last appeared before the Board in November of last year. That decision outlines his lack of involvement in programmes, including an offer to partake in an adapted sexual offenders’ programme.
- Today Mr Mist explained that he considered his many disabilities too significant to partake in any kind of group programme and he stated he had always been amenable to have individual psychological sessions.
- The Board decision from November last year noted his motivation to work with a psychologist and supported that work occurring as soon as practical. It was accepted that these kinds of psychological sessions would not address his offending needs but would be undertaken to develop a safety plan before his release.
- Today Ms Goodlet, his lawyer, appeared on his behalf. Ms Goodlet confirmed that Mr Mist had consented to an ESO order being made. Further, he had also consented to intensive monitoring to be imposed for a 12-month period. Ms Goodlet advised the Board that his next hearing date is in the High Court on 26 August this year in anticipation that the ESO order will then be made at that time.
- Ms Goodlet further explained about his accommodation issues which are still relevant. He had initially been looking at accommodation in Wellington, but with the making of an ESO order, that accommodation is now not possible.
- There have been extensive enquiries made on Mr Mist’s behalf to sort his accommodation, including a lot of work done by his case manager. It appears now that he may be able to reside at the [withheld] outside [withheld], as this is geared up to take those with ESOs and intensive monitoring orders. This programme also provides a wraparound service to assist reintegration into the community. At this stage this accommodation has not been confirmed.
- Mr Mist has started work with a psychologist in preparation for developing a safety plan. He advised the Board that he had started earlier this year and was asked how much of the planning they had achieved. Mr Mist advised it was early days and they were still discussing a lot of issues and it had not been gone into in depth at the moment. He advised he had covered the area of recognising and dealing with high-risk situations. It appeared to the Board from Mr Mist’s observation that there is still a lot of work to do in respect of developing a total safety plan.
- Mr Mist was advised that the Board had met with one of his victims of the manslaughter conviction today. This victim wanted three things conveyed to Mr Mist: Namely that this offending had affected his whole life in a significant way and continues to do so. Further, he was at the birth of his daughter and then he has had to bury her. Thirdly, that he would never be able to forgive him for what he has done.
- When asked about the impact on his victims Mr Mist stated that it had also had a big impact on him too and he sometimes goes over and over what happened in his head. He did state that he did feel sorry for what he had done.
- His case manager confirmed that they had been working hard in respect of finding accommodation for Mr Mist and that was ongoing. When the case manager was asked about the psychological sessions, he advised he was unable to tell the Board how many more sessions were required or how long they would be going on for. His PCO said Mr Mist was no trouble in the unit and gave him a good report.
- Ms Goodlet suggested that Mr Mist appear before the Board in September of this year after his ESO appearance in late August. This Board is of the view that Mr Mist still faces a number of challenges. Further, the Board acknowledges what Ms Goodlet said herself that stepping stones for Mr Mist were very important and these steps had to be done gradually.
- Mr Mist is expected to continue psychological sessions and develop a safety plan which will need to be presented to the next Board. Confirmation of an approved address is also required.
- In consideration of what he has still to do and all that was heard before the Board today Mr Mist will appear again before the Board in November of this year, and no later than the end of that month.
- In the interim until an approved release plan is before the Board and he has completed his psychological sessions and presented a safety plan, he is still considered an undue risk and parole is declined.