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LAING - Stephen John - 19/07/2016


Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Stephen LAING

Hearing: 19 July 2016 [Withheld]

Members of the Board:
Ms S Pakura (Panel Convenor)
Dr S Davis Mr A Shaw

Support Persons:
[Withheld]
[Withheld]

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Stephen Laing, 33, appears today for further consideration of parole.  Mr Laing is serving a sentence of imprisonment of 10 years.

2. Mr Laing was originally sentenced in March 2008 to a term of five years for offending involving objectionable material between 2005 and 2007.  He was released on parole in 2011.  Further similar offending occurred and was discovered in September 2011.  A further conviction and sentence followed.

3. We note that there was an earlier one year prison term imposed in 2005 for similar offending between 2003 and 2005.

4. The parole eligibility date was 17 June 2012.  The sentence expiry date was 16 October 2017.  The RoC*RoI is 0.50134.  The prison security classification is minimum.  Mr Laing is recorded as a high risk offender.

5. There have been no issues of behaviour or attitude raised in the Parole Assessment Report.  He is currently employed in the [Withheld].  The tutors identified that Mr Laing has a positive attitude.  At the parole hearing today the senior prison officer identified that he is an inmate who gets on with others in the unit.

6. Mr Laing attended and completed the Te Piriti Programme.  He advised us today that he had in fact completed the programme twice and he had also completed the SAFE Programme between 2005 and 2006.

7. The psychological report dated 26 February 2014 states; “Given that Mr Laing has previously offended while engaged in a community treatment programme and later offended soon after his release from a prison sentence in which he completed the Te Piriti Programme, there seems little reason for an optimistic view of his likelihood of re-offending.”  Mr Laing’s assessment of re-offending through the acquisition of objectionable material from the internet is considered to be high.

8. Mr Laing’s [Withheld] supported him at the hearing today.  We were informed by Mr Laing that arrangements had been made for the [Withheld] Police to be in contact with him when he is released and that the police were going to be responsible for monitoring him while he was in the community.  There is no documentation that we have at this time that supports this assertion.

9. We were also advised by [Withheld] that contact had been made by the community Probation Officer with Psychological Services.  [Withheld] stated that the psychologist, [Withheld], has agreed to accept Mr Laing as a client when he is released into the community.  Again, there is no documentation that supports this assertion.

10. Mr Laing accepts that he knowingly made choices to offend.  That he lied to [Withheld] when he was released on parole and he did circumvent the safety mechanisms that were put in place to stop him accessing the internet.  He also acknowledges that nobody trusts him.

11. Mr Laing reoffended in a serious way on parole.  He actively and with determination found ways to access a wireless internet connection without the knowledge of his key support person [Withheld] or the owner of the wireless connection [Withheld].  Mr Laing was accessing adult pornography within four or five weeks.  He then moved to child pornography within the next two months.

12. Mr Laing is a high risk of accessing objectionable materials from the internet, he reoffended rapidly when released, he deceived his key support person and undermined the safety mechanisms put in place to manage his high risks, provides a basis to conclude, that the risk Mr Laing poses to the community is undue.

13. Taking all of the information and the matters discussed at today’s hearing into account and when we apply the test set out in Section 7 and 28 of the Parole Act, 2002, it is clear that Mr Laing continues to present an undue risk to the safety of the community.

14. Accordingly parole must be declined.  The risk remains undue.  Mr Laing will be seen again in June 2017, or at the very least at the end of that month.

Ms S Pakura
Panel Convenor