Keith Anthony MCEWEN 19/04/2024

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Keith Anthony MCEWEN

Hearing: 19 April 2024

at Waikeria Prison via MS Teams

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Dr J Skipworth

Mr P Elenio

Mr C Roberts

Counsel: Mr D Allan

In Attendance:  

[withheld] - Case Manager

[withheld] – Principal Case Manager

Mr P de Graaf – Radio New Zealand


  1. Mr McEwan who is 47 years of age was sentenced to preventive detention in 2000 for aggravated robberies, unlawful sexual connection, kidnapping, using disabling substances as well as finite sentences for receiving and burglary.  Prior to that he had nine pages of offending including extensive offending of dishonesty, drugs and fraud.
  2. Victims have asked that Mr McEwan not be released to either Auckland or Dunedin.
  3. This was a very brutal attack which involved significant and concerning planning.
  4. We last saw him in April 2023. At that stage we noted that Mr McEwan had been on Release to Work but that he had used cannabis and had been returned into the main prison and lost his job.  He wanted to go to [withheld] although [withheld], in view of that failure in terms of the use of drugs, said they would delay any final decision.
  5. As to the current situation Mr McEwan was able in the meantime since, April 2023, to work himself back to Release to Work in what can only be observed to be a remarkably quick turnaround.  He was tested in July 2023 and showed positive for methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA and THC acid.  That was obviously a very serious and second failure. He lost his job again and was returned to the prison again.  He is now starting one-to-one work with a psychologist.  We encourage that to continue.
  6. Today Mr McEwan did not seek release on parole. He said that we should see him again in six months’ time, after he had completed the one-to-one work and we had a psychological report.  He suggested that he did not need any further reintegrative testing in the circumstances.
  7. We discussed the circumstances of his use of drugs again on Release to Work. Our collective view is that Mr McEwan was somewhat dismissive of his relapse. It was difficult to get him to identify the precise circumstances leading up to his use of drugs, why he was not able to use the work he had done on the Drug Treatment Programme and other programmes and why given he had previously taken drugs on Release to Work and been returned to RTW that his previous failure not been to the forefront of his mind.
  8. We are therefore concerned about his approach and attitude to these two failures.  We take them seriously. The purpose of reintegrative testing is to see whether an offender can manage his behaviour in increasingly liberal situations.  Mr McEwan on two occasions has shown that he cannot.  We note also the connection between his use of drugs and his offending.
  9. We will see him again by the end of April 2025 in 12 months’ time. During that time, he should complete the one-on-one work.  He should work his way towards Release to Work again, hopefully obtain Release to Work for further reintegrative testing.
  10. Finally, as Chairperson I gave permission for the media to be present at the hearing today.  We agreed that one aspect of the information provided to the Board during the course of the discussion with Mr McEwan should be suppressed, that is the information that [withheld].  That information will be suppressed and cannot therefore be part of the material published by the media.

Sir Ron Young