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BIRD - Devon Ashley - 01/05/2017

Parole Hearing
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Devon Ashley BIRD

Hearing: 1 May 2017 at [withheld] via AVL from The NZ Parole Board, Wellington Head Office

Members of the Board:

  • Mr J Thomson – Acting Panel Convenor
  • Mr S Perry
  • Ms S Driver

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Devon Ashley Bird aged 23 has made his second appearance before the Board.  He is servicing a sentence of four years, nine months for ill-treating a child under 18 and wounding with intent to injure.  He pleaded guilty to these matters.  The charges related to injuries caused by him to [withheld].  The sentencing Judge described fractures to the skull and to many other parts of the child’s body.

2. The sentence commencement date is 19 December 2014 and Mr Bird became eligible for parole on 19 June 2016.  The sentence ends on 18 May 2019

3. Mr Bird has a static risk score of 0.291.  There are no previous convictions.  He has a minimum security classification and is currently on voluntary protective custody.

4. At the last hearing on 3 June 2016 Mr Bird had completed the [withheld] and it seemed likely that he was to undertake the [withheld].

5. The Board has the benefit of a psychologist’s report dated 8 March 2017.  The report notes that Mr Bird presented as being at ease and appeared to respond openly.  He expressed remorse and regret for his behaviour and the impact it had had on [withheld].  Overall Mr Bird was seen by the psychologist as being at low to moderate risk of offending.

6. The psychologist also notes that Mr Bird wished to avoid release to the [withheld].  The recommendations include the suggestion that if necessary Mr Bird could be referred to the psychological service for assistance on release.  Further the psychologist notes that Mr Bird has successfully completed offence focused intervention and a programme to address his past substance abuse.

7. Finally the psychologist notes that should Mr Bird enter into a relationship that this should be monitored closely by his professional supports.

8. Since his last appearance before the Board, Mr Bird has completed the [withheld] Programme.  He was seen to have engaged well in the group and to have accepted feedback from others.  Generally he is assessed as having performed well.  Since completion of the programme he has attended maintenance group sessions.

9. On release Mr Bird proposes to live with his [withheld] and his [withheld] in [withheld].  The Probation Officer sees this as a suitable arrangement.

10. The Board has received a letter dated 30 March 2017 from the [withheld] of the victim of the offending.  She expresses concern about the level of risk which Mr Bird may present.  She clearly requests that if released he not be permitted to live in the Hawke’s Bay.  This request is echoed by a letter from [withheld].

11. Mr Bird has committed serious offences against an infant, [Withheld].  Against that he has no previous convictions of any kind.  He has completed two major rehabilitative interventions while in prison.  The greatest risk for Mr Bird would be caring for another young person.  The Board is of the view that his remaining risk in the community can be adequately managed by conditions of release.

12. In addition to the conditions which are proposed by the Probation Officer in the Parole Assessment Report the Board will add conditions that Mr Bird is to disclose to a Probation Officer at the earliest opportunity the start or resumption of an intimate relationship.  In addition there will be a condition that he is not to be alone with any child under the age of five unless in the company of an adult.  There will be a further condition that he is not to travel to the Hawke’s Bay area without the written permission of his Probation Officer.

13. These conditions along with those proposed in the Parole Assessment Report are designed to reduce the risk of offending and to facilitate Mr Bird’s reintegration and reintegration into the community.  They are also designed to take into account the reasonable concerns of the victim.

14. Mr Bird will be released on 15 May 2017.  The standard and special conditions will remain in force until the statutory release date.

15. Special Conditions are:
(1) To attend and complete the [withheld] Programme maintenance programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and programme provider.
(2) To attend an assessment for alcohol and drug use, and attend and complete such counselling as recommended by the assessment to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and programme provider.
(3) To reside at an address approved by the Probation Officer and not to move from that address, or any other subsequently approved address, without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
(4) You are not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
(5) To disclose to a Probation Officer, at the earliest opportunity, the start or resumption of any intimate relationship.
(6) Not to be alone with a child under the age of 5 unless another adult is present.
(7) Not to enter the Hawke’s Bay region as identified on a map provided by a Probation Officer, without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(8) To attend and participate in a reintegration meeting, to be attended by such people and at such time and place specified by a Probation Officer, to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer.

Mr J Thomson
Acting Panel Convenor