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FRANCIS - Malcolm Alan - 14/05/2013

FRANCIS Malcolm Alan - 14 May 2013

Parole hearing

Under Section 21 (1) of the Parole Act 2002


Malcolm Alan FRANCIS
14 May 2013 at (withheld)

Members of the Board
Judge D Holderness
Judge PD Mahony
Ms S Pakura
Ms G Hughes
Assoc Professor P Brinded

Decision of the Board


1.                  Malcolm Alan Francis has appeared before the Board today for further consideration of parole.

2.                  Mr Francis, who is aged 64, is serving a 12 year sentence for a manslaughter offence committed in 2001.  He has now served just over 11 years of this sentence.  The statutory release date is 15 March 2014. 

3.                  The primary difficulty in relation to Mr Francis is his continued denial of the offence.  Mr Francis appeared for sentence with an earlier conviction for manslaughter dating back to 1984.  That attracted a sentence of four years’ imprisonment.  Mr Francis does accept responsibility for that earlier offence.  The Board notes that he was convicted of two assault offences which were committed approximately a month before the index offence.  This is of note, given the Board’s concern that Mr Francis appears to remain a rather angry man.  There is underlying anger, which was apparent to the Board today during Mr Francis’ presentation, coupled with a somewhat pedantic view of the world. 

4.                  The PCO may well have put his finger on the situation by describing Mr Francis as a compliant prisoner in a controlled environment.  The PCO acknowledged that the prison authorities had failed over the years to motivate Mr Francis to complete any rehabilitative programme that might have gone some way to meeting his criminogenic needs.  However, the PCO also confirmed that Mr Francis himself has not demonstrated any motivation in this regard.

5.                  Effectively, Mr Francis remains an untreated, violent offender and because he has not engaged in any rehabilitative programme, he has not at any point been on a pathway towards meaningful re-integration.  As an example, he declined the opportunity to participate in the DTU Programme at (withheld).

6.                  This is despite the fact that Mr Francis himself acknowledges that he has had a longstanding alcohol abuse problem.  The Board is concerned that this problem, coupled with his underlying anger, means that his risk of re-offending remains high.  That risk assessment is confirmed in various psychological reports that have been made available to the Board.

7.                  The Board is further troubled because Mr Francis does not have a particularly robust release plan.  It involves reliance upon (withheld) and professionals such as his counsel, (withheld).  Certainly, (withheld), a counsellor who has been involved with Mr Francis for approximately 12 months, would provide support in the community.  However, overall the Board is not satisfied that the release and re-integration plan is a particularly comprehensive or robust one.

8.                  Because the Board cannot be satisfied in all the circumstances that Mr Francis’ risk has significantly reduced and because the Board has real concerns that he would remain an undue risk in the community, even if subject to appropriate conditions, the Board has concluded that it is not able to release Mr Francis.   

For these reasons parole is declined.  The Board schedules a further appearance for Mr Francis in January 2014 for a consideration of final release conditions.

Judge D Holderness
Panel Convenor

You may apply for a review of the Board’s decision under section 67(1).  The only grounds under which you may make an application for review are that the Board, in making its decision:
a)     Failed to comply with procedures in the Parole Act 2002; or
b)     Made an error of law; or
c)     Failed to comply with Board policy resulting in unfairness to the offender; or
d)     Based its decision on erroneous or irrelevant information that was material to the decision reached; or
e)     Acted without jurisdiction.
To apply for a review you must write to the Board within 28 days of its decision stating which of the above ground(s) you consider to be relevant in your case and giving reasons why you believe that ground(s) applies.

Reviews are considered on the papers only.  There is no hearing in respect of your Review Application.