Parole Board Hearing: Stuart Murray WILSON

Press Release – New Zealand Parole Board

The Board is satisfied that the test in section 107(3) continues to be met. In the Board’s view, the risk of Mr Wilson committing a specified offence before his applicable release date, remains a real and substantial one and that, by an appreciable margin, …
Review of section 107 order
Under section 107(6) of the Parole Act 2002
Stuart Murray WILSON
Hearing: 17 October 2011

at (Withheld) Prison
Members of the Board: Judge D Holderness (Panel Convenor)

Mr J Thomson

Ms R Pritchard
Counsel: (Withheld) for Applicant
Present: (Withheld) (Department Psychologist)

1. Stuart Murray Wilson has appeared before the Board for a further review of the order made on 16 December 2008 under section 107 of the Parole Act 2002 (“the Act”).

2. The last six-monthly Review occurred on 29 April 2011.

3. Section 107(7) of the Act provides that on a Review the Board must revoke the Order if it is no longer satisfied that the test in section 107(3) is met.

4. The issue for the Board is therefore whether it remains satisfied that Mr Wilson would, if released before his applicable release date, be likely to commit a sexual offence as defined in section 107(9) of the Act between an earlier release date and the applicable release date.

5. The Board understands that Mr Wilson’s applicable release date is 1 September 2012. However, during the hearing Mr Wilson indicated that he believes that the date is 28 August 2012.

6. Mr Wilson is now aged 64. He will turn 65 on 11 December next.

7. In 1996 Mr Wilson was sentenced to a total of 21 years imprisonment for sexual offending against women and girls over a period of 25 years or thereabouts.

8. A period of approximately 11 months remains before Mr Wilson reaches his applicable release date.

9. The Board must revoke the order unless it is satisfied that there is a real or substantial risk of further offending of the specified kind within the period before the applicable release date and that any such risk is appreciably or significantly greater than the risk of recidivism which ordinarily attaches to such offending. See: Secretary of Justice v M (1990) 6 CRNZ 57.

10. Mr Wilson has previously been represented before the Board by counsel. Counsel appeared at the hearing of the most recent Review.

11. Mr Wilson advised the Board that his counsel would not be attending this Review hearing as he had not been asked to do so by the Community Probation Service (CPS) or by the Crown.

12. The Board explained to Mr Wilson that it was for him, not CPS or the Crown, to instruct Counsel, to appear.

13. The Board is satisfied that Mr Wilson is familiar with the section 107 review procedure and that he has known since the last hearing that there would be a further Review this month. There was no suggestion by Mr Wilson that he had not received proper notice of the hearing of this Review. He indicated to the Board that he did not seek an adjournment; that he wanted the hearing to proceed and that he wished to represent himself. Being conscious that it was required, by virtue of section 107(6), to review the Order on or before 28 October the Board decided, despite the absence of counsel, that the hearing should proceed in accordance with Mr Wilson’s wishes.

14. In considering the central issue in relation to this review, the Board has carefully considered and taken into account the parole assessment report prepared for the hearing; the psychological addendum report dated 6 September 2011; the submissions of (Withheld), counsel for CPS, and the submissions and statements of Mr Wilson.

15. The registered clinical psychologist, (Withheld), confirmed on oath the contents of her addendum report. She was then cross-examined by Mr Wilson.

16. Mr Wilson had carefully thought out his questions. They focused, to a significant extent, upon his contention that (Withheld) has misrepresented or twisted comments made by him during the interview she conducted on 1 September 2011.

17. In questioning (Withheld), Mr Wilson sought to establish a lack of professionalism on her part; a mere regurgitation of matters canvassed in previous psychological reports and generally a biased approach to the issue of her assessment of his risk of reoffending.

18. As to his release plans, the report indicates that Mr Wilson continued to assert that such plans were his own business and that, because legally he has 72 hours after release to find accommodation, he is under no requirement to inform anyone of his intentions prior to release. However, he indicated that he intended to go initially to (Withheld) before visiting the (Withheld) to go white-baiting. Mr Wilson indicated to (Withheld) that he would have support from a Brother of the Catholic Church and the support of the Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Trust (PARS). Mr Wilson was unable to report which of these support people would be living in the town in which he might choose to settle or to identify any other available support persons.

19. Of significance for the Board, was Mr Wilson’s reported response to an enquiry regarding his ability to adhere to a condition that he have no contact with any child under the age of 16 years. Mr Wilson is recorded as having stated, “I don’t give a stuff about it”.

20. (Withheld) in her report has indicated that consideration is to be given an Extended Supervision Order (ESO) application and that an associated health assessment is scheduled to occur later this year.

21. (Withheld) in her report has noted that since the last Review, Mr Wilson has undertaken no intervention aimed at addressing his offending or managing his risk of re-offending. He is reported not to have requested any engagement with a psychologist and that he has not developed a release plan with his Case Manager. Despite seeing Mr Wilson’s willingness to meet with her for the purposes of an interview as a positive, (Withheld) nevertheless reported that Mr Wilson’s engagement has remained superficial.

22. However, (Withheld) reports that Mr Wilson has commenced work with an ACC-funded counsellor (Withheld). (Withheld) considers that if Mr Wilson is able to engage with an ACC counsellor, this may assist his ability to work in the future with a Departmental Psychologist and facilitate his awareness of, and to take some responsibility for, his offending behaviour.

23. As to Mr Wilson’s potential to reoffend, (Withheld) notes in her report that on the automated sexual recidivism scale (ASRS), Mr Wilson is assessed as being in the high risk category and records that offenders in this category re-offend sexually at a rate which is approximately four times that of the average rate. This probability of recidivism is based solely on static risk predictors.

24. (Withheld) refers to a previous psychopathy check list screening version (PCL-SV) assessment. She notes that Mr Wilson’s higher score on Factor 1 (interpersonal and affective deficits) indicates a higher probability of committing serious violent offences within two years of release into the community. (Withheld)’s current review of this instrument suggests to her that no convincing or persistent changes have occurred over the recent years which might warrant any alteration to the initial assessment (Withheld).

25. As to the Stable – 2007 assessment, (Withheld) has reported as follows:

“Mr Wilson was found to be in the high risk group on the Stable–2007, according to (Withheld)’s previous assessment and the writer’s current assessment. The following Stable items were identified as problematic for Mr Wilson, and these are considered to remain current: deviant sexual preference; sex drive/sexual pre-occupation; co-operation with supervision; negative emotionality; poor problem-solving skills; lack of concern for others; hostility towards women; capacity for relationship stability and social influences.”

26. In relation to the identification of dynamic risk factors, (ACUTE 2007), the factors seen as relevant by (Withheld) all contribute in her view to concerns of acute risk present upon Mr Wilson’s release. (Withheld) reports as follows:

“In addition, his current self-report indicates limited motivation to comply with the possible conditions of release, (such as a condition regarding having no contact with children under 16 years), which reflects an additional potential risk factor of poor compliance with supervision.”

27. We turn next to the issues of Mr Wilson’s advancing age and its impact on his risk of reoffending and also the now shorter period until his applicable release date. In respect of these issues (Withheld) refers to her previous report (April 2011) and at paragraphs 23 to 27 of her more recent report, she has set out additional information to provide further background in relation to her views. In short, and for the reasons set out in this section of her report, (Withheld) suggests that Mr Wilson remains at risk of committing a specified offence between the date of any release and his applicable release date. (Withheld) does not consider that his advancing age mitigates this risk. Her view is that his high PCL-SV score, his high dynamic risk including both dynamic and static factors, coupled with his lack of an appropriate release plan, point to Mr Wilson remaining at high risk of sexual recidivism.

28. The parole assessment report notes Mr Wilson’s continued denial of his offending; his lack of co-operation in relation to any appropriate treatment programme and his unwillingness to disclose for full consideration and approval any proposed accommodation or reintegration plan. It is reported that CPS again does not support a release.

29. Towards the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Wilson was frank with the Board in acknowledging that he was not expecting a release. That indication however is not in any way determinative of the central issue which requires the Board’s determination.

30. The Board regards the following matters as being of primary importance in relation to this further review:

(a) Mr Wilson’s decision to date not to engage in any appropriate treatment;

(b) The assessment of the psychologist that, despite his advancing age, Mr Wilson remains at high risk of committing a specified offence;

(c) Mr Wilson’s reluctance to develop, or indeed recognise the need for, an appropriately robust relapse prevention and reintegration plan.

31. Having considered the reports and all that it heard from (Withheld) and Mr Wilson during the hearing, the Board concludes that there has been no appreciable change in Mr Wilson’s risk of reoffending since the review last April.

32. The Board is satisfied that the test in section 107(3) continues to be met. In the Board’s view, the risk of Mr Wilson committing a specified offence before his applicable release date, remains a real and substantial one and that, by an appreciable margin, it is greater than the risk of recidivism which ordinarily arises in relation to such offending.

33. The Board is therefore satisfied that the Order should remain in place until the next six-monthly review.
Judge D Holderness

Panel Convenor
[Also: April decision: Stewart_Murray_WILSON_April_11.doc]

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