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HIROA - Shane Andrew - 04/11/2015

Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002

Shane Andrew HIROA

Hearing: 4 November 2015 at [Withheld]

Members of the Board:

  • Ms K Snook (Panel Convenor)
  • Associate Professor P Brinded
  • Mr A Shaw

Counsel:

  • [Withheld]

Support People:

  • [Withheld]
  • [Withheld]

DECISION OF THE BOARD

1. Shane Andrew Hiroa, 46, appeared for first consideration of parole on a sentence of three years’ imprisonment for four counts of theft by a person in a special relationship.

2. We did not have the sentencing notes prior to the hearing although we have now read them.

3. Mr Hiroa entered a guilty plea in relation to the charges which related to a period of time when he was employed by [Withheld] business in Whangarei.  In his role as manager Mr Hiroa took money over a period of time from around 2010 until 2014 when he left the business.

4. The amount which was capable of being proven to be stolen by Mr Hiroa amounted to around $128,900.  Mr Hiroa took the money by falsifying invoices and credit notes.  He approached customers and encouraged them to pay him directly in cash for amounts that were owed to the business.  To do this he set up false bank accounts and had the money paid directly into those accounts.  The sentencing notes detail the methods used by Mr Hiroa to cover his tracks.  It is clear that the company thought that the amount taken may have totalled more like $250,000 but the charges and the convictions were based on the lower amount referred to above.

5. Mr Hiroa said that initially he stole the money because he and his wife were struggling to make ends meet on one income and with young children.  He then admitted that this developed into greed and he took more money than he actually needed.

6. Mr Hiroa said that a later point during the offending period he stole more money because he was trying to fix up accounts within the company that he had taken money from, by taking it from one part of the company and putting the money into another company account.

7. Mr Hiroa told the Board that the offending came to light after he left the company and the firm bought in an accountant.

8. These are Mr Hiroa’s only convictions.

9. Mr Hiroa’s sentence commenced on 11 November 2014, he has a parole eligibility date of 12 November 2015, and a sentence expiry date of 10 November 2017.

10. Mr Hiroa has a RoC*RoI of 0.05806 and is a on a minimum prison security classification.

11. [Withheld] appeared today for Mr Hiroa.  She detailed for the Board all the positive factors in relation to Mr Hiroa.  Prior to the hearing we received a significant amount of letters in support of Mr Hiroa.

12. [Withheld] told the Board that Mr Hiroa is not eligible for any programmes.  This was referred to as well in the parole assessment report.

13. Mr Hiroa has however taken advantage of all the opportunities that have been made available to him in prison.  He has worked the whole time he has been in prison and is now in the Receiving Office which is a position of trust.

14. Mr Hiroa has significant support in the community and a full-time job to go to.  His potential employer, [Withheld], was at the hearing today and spoke very positively about Mr Hiroa as an employee.  [Withheld] was present at the hearing today.  She spoke to the Board [Withheld].

15. [Withheld] told the Board that that community is small and everyone knows what Mr Hiroa has done.  That is a protective factor for him [Withheld].

16. [Withheld] knew nothing about the offending.  [Withheld] will continue to require that sort of accountability from Mr Hiroa on any release.

17. Mr Hiroa is committed to repaying the $10,000 in reparation which remains outstanding.  He plans to make arrangements in relation to this on release.

18. Mr Hiroa told the Board about how he now knows the warning signs that led to the offending and also knows that he has a considerable amount of support in the community that he could use if financial difficulties arose in the future. He accepts that, at least while subject to parole conditions, he will not be able to undertake any employment in which he has responsibility for the finances of the company or any control over other people’s money.

19. Taking all of this into account we have reached the view that if released to serve the rest of his sentence on parole, Mr Hiroa would not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community.

20. Mr Hiroa will be released on parole on 19 November 2015.  He will be released on the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act 2002 and on the special conditions set out below.

21. In addition to the conditions proposed we are adding a special condition which will prohibit Mr Hiroa from undertaking any employment that involves his management of the finances of a company or the money of any other people.

22. The conditions will last until Mr Hiroa’s sentence expiry date of 10 November 2017.

23. The special conditions are:
(1) To attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of a Tikanga Maori programme.
(2) Undertake and complete a parenting programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and counselling/course provider.
(3) To reside at [Withheld] and not to move from that address (or any other approved address) without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) To notify your Probation Officer prior to starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.
(5) To undertake budgeting advice to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer.
(6) Not to undertake any employment that involves the management or control of any money or the finances of that company or the control or management of other people’s finances or money.
(7) Not to have contact, directly or indirectly, with the victims of the offending without the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.

Ms K Snook
Panel Convenor