James Hay WALLACE 17/11/2023

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002


Hearing: 17 November 2023

at Auckland South Corrections Facility

Members of the Board:

Sir R Young – Chairperson

Mr A Hackney

Mr C King

Counsel:  Mr D Jones KC

In Attendance:  

[withheld] - Case Manager

[withheld] – Principal Case Manager

Support Persons: [withheld]


  1. Mr Wallace, who is 85 years of age, was sentenced to two years and four months’ imprisonment with respect to three charges of indecent assault and two of attempting to pervert the course of justice.  His sentence commencement date was May 2021 and the sentence end date March 2025.
  2. We have previously seen Mr Wallace and we do not propose in this decision to recount the background to the offending.  He was assessed by a psychologist as a low risk of sexual re-offending and a low risk generally of offending.  He has not, therefore, been eligible for any prison-based programmes.
  3. Parole was sought today.  We spent some time talking with Mr Wallace about his high risk situations and a variety of possible release conditions which we thought appropriate.  As far as his risks are concerned, Mr Wallace, after the earlier hearing in September, has completed one page of type script which identifies his high risk situations and some strategies to deal with those risks (his safety plan). Today, in discussing the risks identified in the safety plan Mr Wallace said that many of the high risk situations identified in that plan were not actually high risks for him. He told us his psychologist had prepared the plan and had included all sorts of risks that he didn’t think were relevant to him although we understood Mr Wallace approved it.
  4. The key point for someone like Mr Wallace, who is a denier, in the preparation of a safety plan is, as we have said to him, to turn the issue around the other way and identify what he needs to do to prevent himself from being the subject of what he views as false complaints.  And, so, after some discussion, that risk seemed to reduce itself primarily to Mr Wallace not having the opportunity to meet young men who might have been seeking his help and support.
  5. We have decided that Mr Wallace can now be released on parole.  We have decided that there should be a number of additional special conditions which would control Mr Wallace’s opportunity to sexually offend again. It is therefore only on the basis of the special conditions that we impose that we have concluded he is no longer an undue risk. And so the conditions are designed to ensure he will not have the opportunity to offend in the way that occurred with respect to his offending.
  6. He will be released on [withheld] December.  The special conditions will be those set out in the parole assessment report.  After some conversation with Mr Wallace, Mr Wallace confirmed that he had read those conditions, that he understood them and that he had no objection to their imposition.  We raised that matter because Mr Wallace spent some time telling the Board that the safety plan that apparently was his safety plan, in fact had been his psychologist’s who included a number of high risk situations that Mr Wallace simply did not agree with. We wanted to ensure that Mr Wallace understood and accepted he would be bound by these special conditions and that there could be no room for misunderstanding.
  7. We also intend to impose other conditions which we discussed with Mr Wallace and his supporters.  Firstly, we will have a monitoring hearing in May 2024.  At that time, if there are any difficulties or issues with the special conditions, we would consider and amendments, although we note that if any variation application was intended to be made it should be made well before the hearing because the victims are likely to  be entitled to notification of any application for change and to comment on the application.
  8. Secondly, we consider a reintegration meeting after release will be very important because the situation with Mr Wallace is somewhat complex and we think a full review of how he is to be managed on parole will be vital.  At that meeting it will be vital for his Probation Officer to go through his special conditions with Mr Wallace and his supporters in detail. This meeting should therefore be convened shortly after his release.
  9. Thirdly, we intend to impose a condition which will ensure that Mr Wallace lives only at [withheld].  The purpose of doing so is related to another special condition we intend to impose restricting visitors to his residence.  Mr Wallace will be obliged each night to stay at [withheld].  While that will limit his ability to go to Christchurch, he can still travel there and return the same day. This is to ensure that the conditions limiting visitors to his residence can be assured for each day of each week.
  10. Finally, as we mentioned, a restriction relating to visitors to the house.  We have drafted a particular special condition which will appear below.  The purpose of the special condition is to ensure that only visitors come to [withheld] who are approved by one of the three people living at [withheld] (other than Mr Wallace) who are supporting him.  Those persons are [withheld].  They have the authority to admit visitors to Mr Wallace’s residence.  No other persons should be admitted to the residence. Mr Wallace is not entitled to approve visitors.  They will keep a log noting who the visitor is and the time of the visit.  That log should be available for inspection by the Probation Service.  That will ensure that Mr Wallace is never placed into the situation where he is able to sexually assault a visitor to his house. This provision is fundamental in our view to reducing his risk by eliminating as well as we are able the opportunity for offending.
  11. So, we are satisfied, given the above conclusions and given these particular special conditions that he is no longer an undue risk.  Conditions will apply for a period of six months beyond his sentence end date.
  12. The Special Conditions are:

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

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

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) Not to communicate or associate with your co-offenders [withheld] directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(6) To reside and remain at the address each night, of [withheld] in Auckland and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(7) To attend a reintegration meeting or Whānau Hui as directed by a Probation Officer.

(8) In May 2024, 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.

(9) Not to allow any visitor to [withheld] other than those visitors approved by one of the three people, namely, [withheld]. To keep and make available a log of any visitors noting their name and date of visit and to make that log available for inspection by Community Probation.

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

Sir R Young