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BENNETT - Gavin Clifford - 09/12/2015


Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Gavin Clifford BENNETT

Hearing: 9 December 2015  at [Withheld]

Members of the Board: 

      Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
      Ms L Campbell
      Mr R Crotty



Support Persons: 



1. Gavin Clifford Bennett, 57, appeared for the further consideration of parole on his sentence of eight years for fraudulently using a document and false accounting, though which 64.5 million was gained from South Canterbury Finance with a nett loss of 23 million plus loss of interest.

2. Mr Bennett is said to have lived a lavish and grandiose lifestyle at the height of his offending.  The description of that in the Judge’s sentencing notes is extraordinary to say the least. 

3. There is no other recorded criminal offending.

4. On 9 September 2015 the Board noted a psychological report of 10 July 2015 which assessed risk as low but with an identified area of risk being Mr Bennett’s capacity to mask his offending from family and friends.  For that reason the Board, while noting the low risk was a barrier to rehabilitative intervention in prison, said the need was for assistance with a safety plan to share with his support network. 

5. The parole assessment report refers to an override for the [Withheld] Programme which Mr Bennett has completed.  He says he has benefitted from that.  He says he is due to have at least one maintenance session at the end of this week.  Other maintenance sessions will be available to him in the community.

6. There are reports also of a high level of entitlement and a lack of problem solving skills.  We think his problem solving skills will have been improved by the completion of the [Withheld].  On the question of self-entitlement, it was interesting to hear the experienced PCO give a glowing report of Mr Bennett which was not reflective of the self-entitlement observations.

7. The accommodation with Mr Bennett’s [Withheld] is assessed as unsuitable but that is because of information from the Victim Notification Register that it is unsuitable because of victim issues.  We have considered this aspect of the information very carefully and we have reached the conclusion that the interests of the identified victim can be dealt with in appropriate ways through the special conditions.

8. We believe the support offered by Mr Bennetts’ [Withheld] including with accommodation, the continuing support available to Mr Bennett from [Withheld] and, indeed, a large amount of other support, is sufficient to mitigate risk to a point where it is no longer undue.

9. We are therefore directing a release.  Mr Bennett will be released on 16 December 2015.  He will be subject to the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act and the following special conditions, with all conditions continuing for three years beyond the date of release.  That is probably somewhat longer than we might usually impose but we have taken into account the interest of the victim. 
   (1) To reside at [Withheld] and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.
   (2) Not to contact or otherwise associate with, directly or indirectly, any person known to you to be a victim of your offending unless you have the prior written approval of the Probation Officer. Nor to enter any area specified on a map, provided by the Probation Officer, which will have regard to the likely whereabouts of any person identified by the Probation Officer as a victim within the meaning of the expression “victim” in terms of the Parole Act 2002.
   (3) If directed, to attend and complete any Departmental programme including any Short Rehabilitation Programme Maintenance Course, to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer and programme provider. 
   (4) To undertake and complete any other treatment, programme or counselling as may be directed by the Probation Officer.
   (5) Not to undertake employment, paid or unpaid, involving taking responsibility for the handling or management of money belonging to any person other than yourself or any other entity.


Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor