Charles COULAM 7/7/2022

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Charles John COULAM

Hearing: 7 July 2022

at Mason Clinic via MS Teams

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Ms T Sharkey

Mr A Hackney

Dr J Skipworth

In Attendance: [withheld] - Case Manager

[withheld] – Forensic Team Case Manager


  1. Mr Coulam, who is 52 years of age, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and assault with intent to cause sexual violation.  His security classification is high.  Prior to this offending he had some minor previous convictions.
  2. We saw him last October 2021.  Mr Coulam then was at, and had been for many years at, Mason Clinic.  He had completed significant and wide-ranging rehabilitation.  At that stage he was at the [withheld] accommodation through Mason Clinic with the hope that he would gradually increase the time he was spending each week at that accommodation from the Mason Clinic.  We wanted a further period of testing for him, and we would then review the position.
  3. As to the current situation Mr Coulam has [withheld].  The psychologist noted that Mr Coulam had, with some ups and downs, been at [withheld] over a period in February 2022.  The ups and downs were primarily because of difficulties with COVID-19 [withheld].  He has been having five hours unescorted leaves in the community, going to places that have been pre-arranged.
  4. It is important, the psychologist said, to understand that his risk will require ongoing monitoring, especially his deviant sexual interests.  He has had over 10 years of psychological treatment and he is now very much in the maintenance stage.  His condition is regularly reviewed and the key to his future will be his preparedness to discuss his thinking and his inner world with those who are supporting him.
  5. Today it is proposed that he be released.  We have decided he is now no longer an undue risk and can be released given the special conditions that are now proposed for him.
  6. The proposal is that Mr Coulam for the foreseeable future will continue to reside at the [withheld] which he enjoys and feels it meets his need.  We are satisfied also that it does meet his need. It is secure monitored supported accommodation.
  7. In discussing his future, with the Board Mr Coulam did not have a good understanding of the special conditions that had been recommended in the parole assessment report.  For understandable reasons his focus has been very much on his mental health and the support that over many years Mason Clinic had given him. It is important now that he turn toward Corrections and Community Corrections to understand what support they will give because they will be the primary organisation who will be responsible for overseeing his care in the future.
  8. We have decided that the first thing that needs to be done before release will be whānau huis, perhaps two, where his Probation Officer, his case manager, those at [withheld] and those from Mason Clinic who have an interest in his welfare, as well as any that family members, all meet to discuss his release proposal and the special conditions he will be subject to.
  9. In addition, as part of that discussion there will need to be a plan developed for the potential for media contact.  As we noted to Mr Coulam, there was significant publicity at the time of his offending and it may be that the media will be interested again in his release and so will be important that Mr Coulam, together with his Probation Officer, case manager, [withheld] and the Mason Clinic develop a good straightforward plan as to how he will deal with the media.  It may be that Mr Coulam feels that the strategy he adopts is one of not talking to the media at all.
  10. We note that it is proposed that the Mason Clinic will continue to have oversight of Mr Coulam in the community when he goes from special patient to a compulsory treatment community order.
  11. As to the special conditions, we adopt those proposed in the parole assessment report with the following changes.  First, subject to our comments below, in the meantime all of the special conditions will be for life.  We will review the timeliness of those conditions when we see Mr Coulam again on the monitoring hearing.  We will see him on that monitoring hearing in December 2022.
  12. We do not think it necessary to have electronic monitoring of the curfew, but we do think the curfew itself is important and so we will impose that curfew for a period of three months from the date on which he is released.
  13. His release date will be 29 August 2022.
  14. There are some further amendments to the wording of the special conditions.  One of the special conditions is that Mr Coulam reside at an address approved in writing by a Probation Officer.  We now know that address, and the address of [withheld] will need to be substituted.  In addition, at the end of that particular paragraph relating to accommodation, the words “subject however to any admission to hospital pursuant to the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992” will need to be included.  The purpose of this is to ensure that he does not breach his special conditions if Mason Clinic decide that he should be subject to a period of in-hospital compulsory treatment.
  15. Secondly, a similar amendment is required relating to the provisions as to the taking of medication.  Currently the special condition notes: “Subject to section 55 of the Parole Act 2002, to take any medication prescribed by health professionals in accordance with any directions given by the health professional,” and after the words, “Parole Act 2002” add in the words “and the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.”
  16. The special conditions are:

(1) Not to enter or loiter near any parks, or reserves, or other area specified in writing by a Probation Officer, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer, or unless an adult approved by a Probation Officer in writing, is present.

(2) To reside at [withheld] or at an 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 subject however to any admission to hospital pursuant to the Mental Health Act 1992.

(3) For three months, to be at your approved address between the hours of 07:00pm and 06:00am daily unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(4) To comply with any tenancy agreement or rules issued by the provider of your approved accommodation.

(5) To attend a psychological assessment and attend, participate in and complete any recommended treatment as directed by a Probation Officer.

(6) To attend, participate in and complete any programme/treatment/counselling as directed by a Probation Officer.

(7) Not to possess, use, or consume alcohol, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional.

(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) To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting, changing, or leaving any educational programmes and/or educational facilities.

(10) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing at a time and place to be notified to you.

(11) Not to have contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, [including previous offending] directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(12) To attend appointments with a mental health provider as directed by a Probation Officer.

(13) Subject to section 15(5) of the Parole Act 2002 and the Mental Health Act 1992, to take any medication prescribed by a health professional in accordance with any directions given by the health professional.

(14) To attend a reintegration meeting as directed by a Probation Officer.

(15) Upon request, to make available to a Probation Officer, or his or her agent, any electronic device capable of accessing the internet that is used by you, or is in your possession or control, for the purpose of monitoring your use of the device.

(16) To disclose to a Probation Officer, at the earliest opportunity, details of any intimate relationship which commences, resumes, or terminates.

“Please note: you may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and or submit to drug or alcohol monitoring.”

Sir Ron Young