Christopher SMITH 9/6/2022
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Christopher Graeme SMITH
Hearing: 9 June 2022
at Rolleston Prison via MS Teams
Members of the Board:
M More – Panel Convenor
Counsel: Rahul George
In Attendance: [withheld] - Case Manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Christopher Graeme Smith is 46. He makes his ninth appearance before the Board on a sentence of 14 years for attempted murder with a firearm, injures with intent to grievous bodily harm, cultivation of cannabis, possession of an offensive weapon and use of firearm against a law enforcement officer. Mr Smith was at his Christchurch address when two police officers who attended at the property were shot and a police dog was killed. Mr Smith was armed with a large number of weapons and he was eventually apprehended with the assistance of the Armed Offenders Squad. He was sharing the house with [withheld] and it was being used to cultivate cannabis.
- Mr Smith’s offending history includes a six-year imprisonment for aggravated robbery, cannabis offending, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of cannabis.
- Mr Smith’s RoC*RoI is .49086. He has two years and one month remaining on his sentence. He is on the Victim Notification Register and his classification is minimum. He is noted as being polite and keeps to himself and his PCO said there are no issues whatsoever.
- We last saw Mr Smith in March 2022. It was noted he has completed his rehabilitation and is on a reintegrative pathway. Mr Smith was working in the construction yard. He had a reintegration hui and the hearing concluded on the basis that Mr Smith would consider engaging in an assessment with [withheld]. Otherwise, he is to discuss other reintegrative options.
- Today the Board is not much further ahead. Mr Smith has declined an assessment with [withheld]. He does not wish to work in a Kaupapa environment. The Parole Assessment Report said that the Intensive Reintegration Service is looking for a suitable facility that offers some wraparound support, and we note the VNR exclusion zone is the entire province of Canterbury.
- Mr Smith was represented by counsel, Mr George, who said his client is seeking release. Mr George made a proposal on his client’s behalf that was to be released to [withheld] on full 24-hour residential restrictions and said that Mr Smith would consent to any conditions. Mr George said his client would meet weekly with the police, and the movement from a restricted custodial environment to [withheld] would be stepped reintegration. Mr George said Mr Smith’s major support is in [withheld].
- Mr Smith’s Case Manager said that the long-term goal is for him to settle in [withheld], however, in the interim they are seeking supported accommodation for him. Unfortunately, because of the Victim Notification Register, Mr Smith has been unable to undertake any reintegration in the [withheld] community. He had some outings last year out of the city which went well but he cannot undertake Release to Work or Guided Releases.
- Mr Smith spoke well to the Board about his rehabilitation, his time on the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitative Programme, and how he now manages his anger. He gave examples that demonstrated he is taking on board what he has learnt and has insight into his own anger.
- Mr Smith is in the reintegrative phase of his sentence, however, the proposal made by his lawyer is not sufficient to address his risk, meet VNR concerns and provide him with stepped reintegration. Mr Smith’s risk remains undue and parole is declined.
- We canvassed a number of proposals with Mr Smith, including transferring to a prison outside the Canterbury region so he could undertake some community-based reintegration. He said he is not interested in moving.
- Mr Smith has good support from Case Management. We will see him again in four months as his Case Manager submits they are still looking for supported accommodation for him. Mr Smith understand this Board does not make any promises on behalf of the next. Any application for release will be considered on its merits by that Board at that time.
- Mr Smith will be seen again in October 2022.