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CHURCHILL - Robin, Nigel - 24/06/15


Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002



Hearing: 24 June 2015
 via AVL from (withheld) Prison to (withheld) Prison

Members of the Board: 
        Hon M A Frater – Panel Convenor
        Assoc. Professor P Brinded
        Mr B McMurray
        Mr J Thomson

Counsel:               (withheld)

In attendance:      (withheld)

Support Person:  (withheld)


1. We have seen Robin Nigel Churchill again today in connection with parole.
2. He is serving a sentence of life imprisonment for the 1993 murder of his wife Sharon.  He has been in prison now for almost 22 years.  He has been in (withheld) Prison since February 2011. 

3. He sought parole today. 

4. When he appeared before the Board a year ago, he proposed living with (withheld) in (withheld).  The Board was not impressed by that proposal.  They said it was unsatisfactory and deficient, particularly having regard to victim concerns. 

5. Mr Churchill’s current plans are for release to the (withheld) area.  He has been assessed by representatives of (withheld) and accepted.  This is a five bedroom older-style residence.  It has a full-time supervisor.  A bed is available for him there immediately.  (withheld) is run by the (withheld)  (withheld).  (withheld),, the chairperson of the management committee and (withheld), a member of the Trust Board, have pledged to support him following release and indeed (withheld) has been visiting Mr Churchill in prison for some 18 months now. 

6. Mr Churchill is confident that he can secure employment in the community.  He has a number of qualifications, including engineering and computer related qualifications, which he believes he can put to good use.  He also talked of engaging in voluntary work in the local community.  He assured us that he intends staying in the (withheld) area in the foreseeable future and may even transfer his (withheld) from (withheld)  to live with him there. 

7. Mr Churchill has been residing in the (withheld) Unit since the beginning of this year. Through no fault of his own he was brought back inside the wire from the (withheld) Unit, (withheld). 

8. While the support which Mr Churchill has garnered is impressive, we are not satisfied that that, in itself, is sufficient to manage his risk.

9. Our concern is that Mr Churchill does not accept that he poses a risk and, under careful questioning, could not articulate in any sensible way what possible risks he might pose post-release.  He talked about associating with people with alcohol issues, but said that he, himself did not have a problem with alcohol, and certainly that does not seem to have been a factor in his offending.  He also talked about not associating with gang members, but, again, that was not a factor in his offending, nor was his third suggestion, of being in undesirable areas of town. 

10. The risk factors identified by the psychologist who prepared the 2014 Board report were “life stressors, feelings of resentment and anxiety towards perceived attempts to discredit his character or undermine his sense of self, or thinking supportive of rule breaking eg. Lack of co-operation with supervision or non-compliance with Parole conditions”.

11. Given the nature and circumstances of Mr Churchill’s index offence, his violent offending in custody, and his higher than average PCL:SV score, his ongoing lack of insight causes us considerable concern and certainly satisfies us that he continues to pose an undue risk to the safety of the community. 

12. In the circumstances, parole is declined.  Mr Churchill will be scheduled to be seen again in accordance with the statutory cycle. 


Hon. M A Frater
Panel Convenor