Joseph Warren LEPPER 26/4/2022

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Joseph Warren LEPPER

Hearing: 26 April 2022

at Hawke's Bay Prison via MS Teams

Members of the Board: Sir Ron Young - Chairperson

Ms M Kleist

Ms Tiumalu

Dr J Skipworth

Counsel: Mr S Fraser

In Attendance: [withheld] – Case Manager


  1. Mr Lepper is 44 years of age and was sentenced to preventive detention for abduction and unlawful sexual offending against a woman.  He has a 2005 rape conviction where he was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and otherwise eight pages of property, traffic and violent offending over many years.
  2. We last saw him in October 2020.  At that stage there was concern about the way he had been behaving in prison over an extended period.  He was identified to do the Drug Treatment Programme and the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme.
  3. We have a brief letter only from Psychological Services saying that he is in the middle of the DTP.  He will finish that shortly and then start the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme next year.
  4. As to the current position, Mr Lepper has had no misconducts but until relatively recently some very concerning conduct, threatening harm, assaults, threats to harm himself and spreading excrement on prison walls.  However, since his arrival at the Hawke’s Bay Prison to undertake the Drug Treatment Programme his behaviour has significantly improved, and we were told today that has graduated from the Drug Treatment Programme.  He gave us a brief description of progress he says he has made since then.
  5. Currently Mr Lepper has a diagnosis of [withheld] and he talked about the contribution he thought that made to his offending.  He recognised, however, that a significant portion, perhaps 50 per cent, could also be identified as simply being a criminal, as he said.
  6. We think it would be very helpful now for us to get a report from the Forensic Service as to his [withheld] diagnosis and proposed treatment for the future.  We acknowledge that Mr Lepper said that he would like to talk to his lawyer, Mr Fraser, about giving consent.  In any event the report would only be available on the basis that he had consented.  We hope that can be provided to the Board so we can better understand Mr Lepper’s mental health.
  7. So, Mr Lepper is now ready to start the second stage of his rehabilitation; the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme in Christchurch.  We understand that that will commence in June 2022.  It will finish sometime in April 2023.  He will then have some further work to do by way of maintenance and at that stage if he has successfully completed all of his rehabilitation attention can turn to reintegration.  We propose to see him again in July 2023 to review the position and see what progress he has been able to make.  In the meantime, he remains an undue risk.

Sir Ron Young