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DRUDGE - Dennis James - 17/10/2016

Parole Hearing
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Dennis James DREDGE

Hearing: 17 October 2016 at [Withheld]

Members of the Board:

  • Alan Ritchie – Panel Convenor
  • Ms G Hughes
  • Ms M More

Support Persons:

  • [Withheld]

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Dennis James Dredge, 66, appeared for the further consideration of parole on his sentence of two years one month for the indecent assault of a 17 year old autistic woman who was said to function as a 10 year old.

2. The offending occurred in the context of Mr Drudge’s role as a taxi/van driver to a special needs school.

3. There is no other relevant recorded criminal offending.

4. The prison security classification is minimum, the RoC*RoI 0.02062 and the sentence expiry date is 21 October 2017.

5. At the outset of this hearing the Board explained to Mr Dredge that it had earlier seen the [Withheld] Victim.  [Withheld] expressed the hope that Mr Dredge would not be released ahead of the end of his sentence and that on release there be appropriate conditions with the essence to make sure that the prospect [Withheld] Mr Dredge is minimised to the fullest extent possible.

6. Mr Dredge responded to that information with an expression of understanding of the consequences of the offending and an apology for it.

7. On 16 June 2016 the Board noted a [Withheld]  report of 24 March 2016 which assessed risk as low (also low on the ASRS) and which recommended the development of a risk management plan to be shared with his support people.

8. The Board agreed with that as a necessary prerequisite to release with a [Withheld] programme proposed to be undertaken in the community.

9. Our understanding was that Mr Dredge would be transferred from [Withheld] to [Withheld] to facilitate the steps recommended by the psychologist and supported by the Board.

10. The transfer has duly taken place but nothing else seems to have been achieved.  The parole assessment report for this hearing which was signed off on 5 September 2016 makes reference to a basic safety plan including a number of situations of high risk but that Mr Dredge continued to demonstrate little insight into the causes of his offending.  In the opinion of the writer of that parole assessment report Mr Dredge would require psychological treatment to improve his understanding before he could develop a meaningful safety plan.

11. We have had it confirmed today that the basic plan is not even in Mr Dredge’s possession.  He said it was written by him at [Withheld] and handed in and he was expecting it to be discussed with him but it has not.  There has been no referral for the psychological treatment to which the parole assessment report refers.

12. As with the last Board we are in no doubt that the original recommendations of the psychologist need to be followed.  Again in questioning today Mr Dredge’s insight seemed limited.

13. These matters need, in fairness to Mr Dredge, to be taken up with the assistance of the case manager in the first instance.

14. The other matter concerning us somewhat today was the suitability of the proposed accommodation with Mr Dredge’s [Withheld].  We had it confirmed by Mr Dredge’s [Withheld] that although [Withheld] no longer lives in the accommodation there are [Withheld] visit that accommodation.  It would be useful for Mr Dredge just to reflect on the suitability of the accommodation and whether there might not be any better option.

15. As things stand we are unable to be satisfied that risk is other than undue and we say that having regard to the available risk assessments including through the psychologist.  In our opinion there needs to be a reference to the psychologist, the development of an effective safety plan, the reference of the plan to support people and a reflection on the question of accommodation.

16. All of that is likely to take some time.  We will schedule Mr Dredge to be seen in July 2017.  If the necessary work has been undertaken ahead of that time then Mr Dredge has an entitlement to apply for an earlier hearing under section 26 of the Parole Act.  He would be wise to discuss that prospect with his case manager as soon as he receives this written decision.

Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor