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HEALY, Elizabeth 02/04/2015

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

at (withheld)

Members of the Board:
Hon, J W Gendall QC
Mr N Trendle
Ms G Hughes
Dr J Skipworth

Support people (withheld)
Observers (withheld)

 

1. Elizabeth Healy is serving a sentence of preventive detention for the crimes of murder with concurrent terms for injuring with intent and poisoning a child. 
2. After reaching a parole eligibility date on 13 May 2008 she was granted parole on 6 March 2013.  She was subject to two monitoring hearings.  The record of those is that initially there was some uneven progress with the Probation Officer but later progress appeared to be promising.  Sadly that did not last.
3. Ms Healy’s performance on probation later in 2014 became abysmal.  The safety plan and parole conditions disintegrated largely by reason of her disregard for those conditions.  There was a lack of engagement with the Probation Officer; alcohol issues; failure to adhere to a safety plan and other serious breaches which led to her being recalled on 6 November 2014.  She faced one charge of breach of a condition relating to access to a young child, which was dismissed on the basis the Judge was not satisfied to the required criminal standard.  However, that was not the test for the Parole Board.  It is abundantly clear that there was a failure to keep in mind to faithfully adhere to that condition, imposed to deal with risk situations.    4. A further defended hearing in relation to an alleged breach of a difficult condition is scheduled for 5 June this year.  (withhelf) has requested that the Board “adjourn” or defer further parole considerations until a period shortly after that. 
5. Ms Healy has the loyal and strong support of (withheld) of (withheld), (withheld) and others in the community.  Obviously, that support existed previously but Ms Healy did not respond to it.  Ms Healy’s inability to manage parole reached, in our view, a serious level.  She has not appreciated the risks that were clearly emerging through the disintegration of her parole into the community.   To some extent she minimises this or, at least, does not have sufficient insight of her risks. 
6. A reintegration hui is set for (withhelf) April and, naturally, that should proceed to assist in formulating a safety plan.  But more is required.  In our view, it should be in the form of intensive psychological counselling and assistance to enable Ms Healy to honestly recognise her risks and address those serious situations that were emerging during her time on parole.  If the recall had not occurred, there was a real danger of significant harm developing.
7. For the moment parole is not on the table.  It is declined and, indeed, Ms Fyfe does not seek it.  We do not agree, however, that there should be a hearing earlier than within the time prescribed in the Parole Act 2002.  That is because, in the Board’s view, intensive work is required by, and for, Ms Healy to ensure that any eventual release does not run into the multitude of serious lapses that occurred. 
8. Parole is declined and she will be seen again within the framework contained in the Act.

Hon J W Gendall QC
Panel Convenor