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HAWTHORN - Gavin Maurice - 22/05/2013

HAWTHORN - Gavin Maurice - 22 May 2013


Parole hearing

Under Section 21 (1) of the Parole Act 2002


Gavin Maurice HAWTHORN
22 May 2013 at (withheld)

Members of the Board
Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor)
Mr B McMurray
Ms L Nathan

Decision of the Board

1.                  Gavin Maurice Hawthorn, 50, appeared for the setting of final release conditions on his sentence of 10 years for manslaughter imposed in 2004.

2.                  He has a low-medium prison security classification, a RoC*RoI of 0.78681 and a sentence expiry date of 4 June 2013.

3.                  Mr Hawthorn’s risk and criminal history has been well documented in previous Board decisions.  The record is extensive and serious betraying a chilling disregard for the law.

4.                  There has been atrocious driving resulting in the deaths of four people in consequence of two such instances.

5.                  Other offending has involved a burglary, theft, drugs, violence, disorderly behaviour and non-compliance.  The record dates back to 1979.  This is the eighth term of imprisonment.

6.                  Mr Hawthorn waived his entitlement to appear at a hearing on 1 April 2013.  At that point the Board observed that there were matters outstanding in relation to proposed conditions and adjourned the hearing until today for Community Probation to provide a specific addendum report.  This was expected to canvass a suitable release address, the prospect of GPS electronic monitoring which the Department had itself suggested, and concern which had been expressed by the Department over the relationship between Mr Hawthorn and his partner.

7.                  We received that specific addendum on 17 May 2013.  It made no reference to the concern over the partnership.

8.                  During the hearing, the partner said she had shifted from that address and that the new residence had not been checked out other than by the electronic monitoring company.

9.                  On the question of electronic monitoring, the specific addendum quotes Mr Hawthorn as saying he would simply cut off the bracelet.

10.              On Mr Hawthorn’s behalf, (withheld) advised that he would be compliant with conditions but that there was a real objection to the monitoring.

11.              (withheld) outlined the provisions of the Parole Act 2002 by which we must be guided, including the requirement on us not to impose conditions which are more onerous than is consistent with community safety.

12.              In her submission the condition must address a specific risk, be reasonable and not disproportionate to the risk.  She said that the Department had not identified the risk in any specific way.  She did acknowledge, however, victim concern but pointed to how that would be mitigated by other special conditions.

13.              (withheld) also acknowledged that the biggest risk was drinking and driving but that the GPS monitoring would not reduce that given that it would not distinguish who might be driving any vehicle or the form of transport, for example, public.

14.              Mr Hawthorn, (withheld) said, deeply regretted the offending.  He had been prepared to undertake treatment programmes in prison but on being told he did not fit the criteria for the Special Treatment Unit Programme, he decided he would simply do his time.

15.              Having done that he was now 10 years older and more mature.

16.              The Prison Officer said there were no problems with Mr Hawthorn’s behaviour in prison and made note of a courageous intervention by him to stop an attack on an officer by another prisoner.

17.              The Board is mindful of the caution which needs to be applied in the consideration of the imposition of electronic monitoring.  Clearly, there is capacity for substantial restraint on individual liberty.  There is potential for human rights concern and possible inconsistency with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

18.              We can understand the Department’s motivation for making the application.  Nevertheless, we cannot be satisfied that the situation existing today warrants a condition with such an impact on liberty and which can, in any event, be in place for 6 months only as the law stands.  The application for the imposition of electronic monitoring is, therefore, declined.

19.              Mr Hawthorn will be released at his statutory release date.  He will be subject to the standard conditions and the following special conditions with all conditions continuing for six months beyond the statutory release date. 

20.              The special conditions are:

(1)               Not to consume or possess alcohol or illicit drugs

(2)               To undertake and complete alcohol and drug assessment, counselling or treatment as directed by, and to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and treatment provider.

(3)               Attend for a psychological assessment and attend and complete any treatment/counselling as recommended by the psychological assessment to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and treatment provider.

(4)               To reside at an address approved by the Probation Officer and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.

(5)               You are not to drive, own or have an ownership interest in a vehicle.

(6)               You are not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.

(7)               Not to enter the Wairarapa District without the written approval of the Probation Officer.


Alan Ritchie
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.