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MIST - Basil Steven - 06/08/15

Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Basil Steven MIST

Hearing: Thursday 6 August 2015
 By AVL from NZPB Office, Wellington to Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Basil Steven MIST

Hearing: Thursday 6 August 2015
 By AVL from NZPB Office, Wellington to [WITHHELD]

Members of the Board: 
 Mr N Trendle (Panel Convenor)
 Mr R Crotty
 Mr M Christensen 

Counsel: [WITHHELD]


1. Basil Steven Mist is serving an effective sentence of 20 years and two months’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of his 17 year-old partner, Ms Miller, and serious sexual offending against five girls between the ages of 7 and 15.  Mr Mist’s offending extended over a period of 4 years when he was aged between 17 and 20.  He has been in prison since 2003.  He became eligible to be considered for parole in November 2012.  This is his fourth appearance before the Board.  His sentence does not end until January 2023.

2. Since his last appearance in September 2014, Mr Mist was transferred to the [WITHHELD] to participate in the child sex offender programme.  After initial assessment he was not accepted onto the programme.  The reason, as recorded in the parole assessment report, is that his cognitive functioning was not at a sufficient level to allow him to adequately participate in the programme.  He was accordingly returned to [WITHHELD] and we are advised that he is now scheduled to attend the Adapted [WITHHELD] programme.

3. Mr Mist was represented before the Board today by his counsel, [WITHHELD], who helpfully filed submissions in advance of the hearing.  [WITHHELD] noted that as a consequence of the developments referred to, as presently scheduled, Mr Mist would not return to [WITHHELD] until 2020. [WITHHELD] submitted the Board consider as an alternative a referral for individual psychological treatment, or to prepare Mr Mist to attend the full child sex offender programme. 

4. Prior to the hearing, the Board met with family members of one of his victims.  They remain concerned that he has yet to address his offending needs.  They expressed particular concern that Mr Mist had not accepted responsibility for Ms Miller’s death.  When he is released from prison, they said they did not wish him to enter the [WITHHELD] and [WITHHELD] areas, where they live and work.

5. For his part, Mr Mist said that he had acknowledged being responsible for the death of his partner.  He said understood and accepted the views expressed by his victims.

6. In the course of the hearing we discussed with Mr Mist the circumstances that led to his non-acceptance onto the [WITHHELD] programme.  He explained the tests he went through and the result.  Since his return to [WITHHELD] he said that he had continued to work in the nursery and that he has completed the level 3 horticultural qualification.  There is little else planned for him at present. 

7. His very experienced PCO who accompanied him to the Board today expressed his surprise at the reason for Mr Mist’s return from the child sex offender programme.  He noted that Mr Mist successfully participated in the horticultural programme where he appeared to have displayed a sufficient level of cognitive ability to maintain his participation on that course. 

8. The initial psychological assessment completed in September 2012 recommended that Mr Mist attend the standard [WITHHELD] programme.  There was no suggestion in that assessment, and only a passing reference in the Judge’s sentencing notes in the other material before the Board, that Mr Mist’s cognitive abilities were insufficiently developed to allow him to participate on the course. 

9. The psychologist’s report and the Judges’ sentencing notes all point to significant intervention being required in Mr Mist’s case.  Thereafter, there will likely be a need for an additional, and possibly commensurate, period for reintegration activity.  While there is a substantial time remaining on his sentence, we accept the submission made by his counsel that the next step should be for Mr Mist to return to the psychologist with a view to commencing individual treatment.

10. Parole today must be declined.  Mr Mist will return to the Board in July 2016.  We support psychological intervention in the interim, and for the next hearing we request a psychological report outlining progress and making recommendations for the way ahead.



Mr N Trendle
Panel Convenor