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MAYO - Austin Herbert - 16/08/2016

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

Austin Herbert MAYO

Hearing: 16 August 2016 at [Withheld] by AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington

Members of the Board:

  • Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor
  • Mr J Thomson
  • Mr L Tawera
  • Ms W Taumaunu

Counsel:

  • [Withheld]

Support Persons:

  • [Withheld]

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Austin Herbert Mayo, who is 66 years of age, is making his first appearance before the Board on a sentence of two years three months’ imprisonment for sexual offending against three girls under the age of 16.  He becomes eligible for parole on 27 August 2016 and he has a statutory release date on 25 February 2018.

2. Mr Mayo’s offending involved three girls [Withheld].  Mr Mayo denied responsibility for his offending and has maintained that stance since.

3. Counsel, [Withheld], filed written submissions in advance of the hearing in support of Mr Mayo’s release on parole.  Before us today he supplemented those submissions by emphasising Mr Mayo’s assessed low-risk of re offending; the historical nature of the offending; and that he had a stable address to go to and stable employment.  In his submission Mr Mayo qualified for release on parole.

4. Whilst Mr Mayo maintained his stance of innocence with respect to his victim he nevertheless made it clear that he had no intention of being in the presence of children under the age of 16 in the future.  He had not however prepared a safety plan to identify the situations in which that may occur and to identify his strategies to deal with them when they arose.  In discussion with him in the course of the hearing he had not given sufficient thought to those situations though counsel referred to one circumstance that had occurred when he was working.

5. The Board accepts that Mr Mayo has a stable environment into which he is to be released.  We note also the psychological assessment that he is at low-risk of re offending and that no treatment recommendations were made.   Upon reflection, we are satisfied that the completion of a safety plan should not pose an obstacle to considering for Mr Mayo’s release and we have concluded that on the basis of the preparation and presentation of that plan, he would not pose a undue risk to the safety of the community for the balance of his sentence.

6. Mr Mayo will be released from prison on 12 September 2016.  Thereafter he will be subject to standard conditions and the special conditions below which will remain in force until his statutory release date.  We have included conditions first, that Mr Mayo not have contact with children under the age of 16 unless supervised or he otherwise has approval of his probation officer; secondly, that he completes his safety plan to the satisfaction of his probation officer; and thirdly, that he present that plan to his supporters at a reintegration meeting.  We have delayed the date of his release from prison to ensure that he has a reasonable time to work with his case manager to begin the process of developing the safety plan which will focus on his high-risk situations and the strategies Mr Mayo will deploy when they arise.

7. We note the observation made in the psychologist’s report that family and friends still believe in Mr Mayo’s innocence of the crimes for which he has been convicted.  It is important to the Board that all his supporters take the safety plan seriously and the best way of supporting him is to assist with its scrupulous implementation in the future.

8. Upon release Mr Mayo’s special conditions are as follows:
(1) If directed, to undertake and complete appropriate treatment or counselling to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer.
(2) To reside at [Withheld] or at an address approved by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(3) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victims of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
(4) Within two weeks of release, to complete a Safety Plan to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer.
(5) Within one month of release to attend and participate in a reintegration meeting to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer.
(6) Not to have any contact with children under the age of 16 years unless an adult who has been approved by your Probation Officer is present, or you have the prior written approval of your Probation Officer.

Mr N Trendle
Panel Convenor