MURRAY - Aiden Brian - 28/08/15
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Aiden Brian MURRAY
Hearing: 28 August 2015
at (withheld) Prison
Members of the Board: Hon M A Frater – Panel Convenor
Judge P Gittos
Dr J Skipworth
Mr L Comer
In attendance: (withheld)
Support People: (withheld)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Aiden Brian Murray, aged 45, is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for the murder of Hayden Kelly in Nelson, almost 13 years ago. He was sentenced on 10 February 2003 and became eligible to be released on parole on 7 October last year.
2. The sentencing Judge described Mr Murray’s crime as “violent, brutal, senseless, callous and cowardly.”
3. Mr Murray has had plenty of time to reflect on his offending and what allowed him to behave in this appalling way. He said that he had used alcohol and drugs over an extended period, but on this occasion, had also added LSD to the mix. The pre-sentence report noted that he was quick to anger but, when sober, could handle his emotions.
4. Mr Murray has remained sober in prison and he is committed to abstinence for the future. He told us that he is a very different man from the person who committed this crime; at that time his lifestyle was unbalanced.
5. Over the years he has worked hard to address the causes of his offending. He has undertaken the (withheld) programme and an anger management course, by correspondence. He has also completed the DTU 6 and MIRP programmes. Through these interventions he has learnt to slow down, to think before he acts, to understand his feelings and emotions, and to apply consequential thinking.
6. His PCO spoke highly of him.
7. Mr Murray has been working in the (withheld) construction yard as a carpenter. He has also acquired experience and qualifications as a welder and in engineering. Before he came to prison he was a fisherman.
8. Mr Murray is fortunate to have strong (withheld) (withheld), were present today. He has also been supported, for many years, by a former prison chaplain, (withheld), who is now retired, and also by (withheld) Trust.
9. Mr Murray sought to be released today. His plan following release is to return to (withheld) and live with (withheld) and their nine year old (withheld) on a 12 acre lifestyle block in the (withheld) area. Apparently there is plenty of work to be done on the property, which Mr Murray is keen to be involved in.
10. Mr Murray has a RoC*RoI score of 0.21072 which puts him within a group of offenders who, on a statistical basis, pose a low risk of re-offending. We note that he had a limited history of criminal offending before his index offence and that there was a lengthy period of non-offending beforehand.
11. Mr Murray is on the victim notification register and, in the past, his victims have written to the Board. We were told that recently there was a restorative justice meeting with members of the victim’s family, which was particularly helpful.
12. We are satisfied that during his time in custody Mr Murray has acquired, and demonstrated that he can apply, the necessary skills to ensure that he will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community on release.
13. Accordingly, he will be released on Monday 14 September 2015. He will of course be subject to the standard release conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act 2014 for life. Unless otherwise specified, he will also be subject to the following special conditions for five years post release.
14. We have included a condition requiring Mr Murray’s Probation Officer to provide a report to the Board on his progress on the expiry of six months post release. It will be open to the Board which receives that report to require Mr Murray to attend a face-to-face hearing pursuant to section 29B(2)(b). The Board considering the report will also be able to make any variations to or delete any conditions, if that is sought and deemed appropriate.
15. The special conditions are:
(1) To attend and complete the MIRP maintenance programme to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and the treatment provider.
(2) To undertake and complete alcohol and drug treatment/counselling to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and the treatment provider. The details of the counselling or treatment to be determined by your Probation Officer.
(3) To reside at (withheld) and not to move from that or any other approved address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with the family of the victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
(5) Not to possess or consume alcohol or illicit drugs.
(6) The Department of Corrections is to provide a progress report in the month of March 2016 on Mr Murray’s compliance with these conditions.
Hon M A Frater