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FENTON - Natalie Roselyn - 07/11/2016

Parole hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Natalie Roselyn FENTON

Hearing: 7 November 2016 at (withheld)

Members of the Board:

  • Hon. M A Frater (Panel Convenor)
  • Judge P Gittos
  • Mr P Elenio
  • Assoc. Prof. P Brinded

Counsel:

  • (withheld)

Support Person:

  • (withheld)

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Natalie Roselyn Fenton is 32 years old.  She is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for murder imposed when she was 15.

2. She was released on parole on 4 April 2016.  This is her first hearing since an interim recall order was made in May.  That order was made final on 1 June this year.  Due to a tragic combination of events, Ms Fenton’s release plan broke down to such an extent that she sought to return to prison.  In the end she breached her curfew in order to do so.  The circumstances are set out in the final recall decision and it is not necessary to repeat them.

3. There is no question of re-releasing Ms Fenton today.  She did not seek it.

4. Until early last month her focus was on moving out of (withheld) and making a new life for herself with (withheld) and her supporters in (withheld).  Unfortunately, because of a change in (withheld) circumstances, that address is no longer available.

5. In the alternative, Ms Fenton has put forward (withheld) new address in (withheld), but it has not yet been assessed.  Although (withheld) was aware of the hearing today, she was not present.  Nor was (withheld), who has been a strong supporter of Ms Fenton.

6. Ms Fenton has a low security classification which is due for review in December.  We were told that she is facing a misconduct charge for talking to an ex-prisoner who she saw while working in the carpark with the external grounds party.  She has yet to plead to the charge.  Whether it will make a difference on her security classification review remains to be seen.

7. What is clear from all this is that Ms Fenton and her supporters have a lot of work to do to formulate a release and relapse prevention plan which is robust enough to keep her safe in the community.

8. We note that Ms Fenton’s (withheld) was not approved for release purposes.  We understand that previously she was living with (withheld).

9. We also note that Ms Fenton told the writer of the psychological report that she did not want to notify (withheld), and, in particular, (withheld), of her release or location (which, at that stage, was going to be in (withheld)) for a few months.  We asked her about that.  She said that it was because she felt that not only was she a failure for being recalled to prison, but that she had failed her family.  This needs to be explored further (withheld).

10. Parole is declined today.

11. Ms Fenton’s next hearing will be in early August 2017 and, in any event, must be held before the end of that month.

12. We support her engagement in all available reintegrative activities in the meantime as is clear that a significant factor leading to the collapse of parole last time was her lack of understanding of the ways of the modern world, and her complete inability to cope in it.

Hon. M A Frater
Panel Convenor