David WITCHALL 19/1/2022

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

David WITCHALL

Hearing:                                            19 January 2022

at Christchurch Men’s Prison by MS Teams

Members of the Board:                  

Ms M More – Panel Convenor

Mr A Hackney

Ms W Taumaunu

Support Persons:                             [withheld]

In attendance:                                   [withheld] – Case Manager

DECISION OF THE BOARD

  1. David Michael Witchall is 32, he makes his third appearance before the Board on a sentence of nine years for two months for rape of a woman over 16, grooming and meeting a young person for sex, indecent assault and indecent act on a girl aged 12 to 16 and assault with intent to injure. The victims were young women, there was sexual grooming and then sexual assaults. Mr Witchall met the victims, all aged around 13 or 14, in various places around Dunedin including the public library. He lied about his age, he took one woman out the back of the library and raped her.
  2. Mr Witchall also has a conviction for breach of court release condition and failure to answer bail, and a cumulative two-month sentence for common assault on an inmate.
  3. Mr Witchall has considerable offending history including but not limited to; multiple convictions for non-compliance of community-based sentences and release conditions, violence, wilful damage, escapes, possession of cannabis and property related offending.
  4. Mr Witchall has a RoC*RoI of 0.85128 and a ASRS of five. He has two years remaining on his sentence, he is on the VNR and is noted as being Black Power. Mr Witchall's classification is low/medium and there are varied reports about his behaviour including that he can be demanding and abusive towards staff. He is currently not working because
  5. of misconducts and loss of privileges and there have been issues around damaging property and assaulting another inmate.

  6. The acting PCO said that his behaviour can be up and down.
  7. Mr Witchall was last before the Board on 18 August 2021 where he maintained his innocence, the Board asked for a psychological assessment.
  8. We have the assistance of an assessment dated 15 December 2021, Mr Witchall declined to be interviewed. When asked why today he told us he was not sure.
  9. The psychologist said Mr Witchall's risk is above average of further sexual offences and high of violent offences, they noted he has no confirmed release address, and recommended Kia Marama Special Treatment unit for Child Sex Offenders.
  10. The Parole Assessment Report advises us that Mr Witchall has recently change of heart, he told the report writer that he now takes full responsibility for his offending and confirms it took place. Today Mr Witchall denies that. He told us he continues to deny the offending and he does not know why that is in the PAR.
  11. Mr Witchall was also supported by [withheld] who said that although he cannot offer him an address, he anticipates that sometime, he can be released, and he will be able to support him in [withheld]. [withheld] said that he himself was released on parole three years ago and is an example of how things can improve.
  12. Mr Witchall told us that he finds it difficult to talk to people. He accepts the Board's recommendations that the future is in his hands, it is up to him whether or not he engages in in any rehabilitation whether it be the STU:CSO or other.
  13. Without any rehabilitation, no release plan, and no address, Mr Witchall's risk remains undue and parole is declined. We will see him again in 15 months; if he does in fact have a change of heart and engage in rehabilitation, and completes that earlier than the set time, we have explained the options of section 26 of the Parole Act to him.
  14. Mr Witchall will be seen again in April 2023.

Ms M More

Panel Convenor