POULTER - Hayden Tyrone - 12/08/15
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hayden Tyron POULTER
Hearing: 12 August 2015
via AVL from [WITHHELD]
Members of the Board:
Mr N Trendle – Panel Convenor
Ms G Hughes
Ms S Pakura
In attendance: [WITHHELD]
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Hayden Tyron Poulter is serving a life sentence for the murder of three victims, the attempted murder of a further victim and the rape of one of the victims he murdered. He has been subject to the life sentence since 1997.
2. Mr Poulter has been before the Board on a number of occasions. He was represented today by [WITHHELD] who supplemented the written submissions made by [WITHHELD] which were received by the Board prior to the hearing. In brief, on behalf of Mr Poulter, counsel sought his release on parole. [WITHHELD] referred to a number of references that had been supplied to the Board and accompanied the written submissions. There had been significant limitations on Mr Poulter’s ability to progress along a reintegration pathway. He advised the Board that he was prepared to abide by conditions such as GPS and residential restrictions electronic monitoring. He had a strong support network. He had approved accommodation. He had work to go to.
3. Mr Poulter was supported today by [WITHHELD] and his case manager was also in attendance. [WITHHELD] advised the Board that he was in the process of developing a support group for offenders released from prison akin to AA, where prisoners released from prison would have the opportunity to meet together to support each other and to be supported by the group that [WITHHELD] was convening.
4. The memorandum from the principal psychologist provided for today’s hearing briefly updated the Board and reiterated the recommendation that Mr Poulter be considered for participation in a gradual reintegration programme. The psychologist noted that some progress had been made, however, progression would be dependent on Mr Poulter’s continuing law abiding behaviour and evidence of implementation of the skills learned during treatment.
5. At the outset Mr Poulter told the Board that he was truly sorry for the grief that he had caused the families of his victims. He told the Board that he wished to prove to everyone that he has made a lot of changes in his life while in prison. He is a totally different person and sought the opportunity to demonstrate that to be the case.
6. So far as his progress is concerned, Mr Poulter remains in Internal Self Care. He has been commended for his work in the unit gardens. He has continued to work on his relapse prevention plan. He had previously undertaken one shopping outing. His PCO confirmed to the Board that recently Mr Poulter had been granted permission to undertake further shopping outings on a rotational basis. That process would begin shortly. So far as other reintegration activities are concerned, present prison policies limited some opportunities.
7. The Board accepts the submissions made on Mr Poulter’s behalf that he has a well developed support network in the community. Nevertheless, having regard to the dual dimensions of risk that we are bound to consider, we are far from satisfied that his release from prison would not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community. It is essential that before release is considered, Mr Poulter is able to demonstrate in a sustained way and under a variety of circumstances that the lessons and skills learnt and developed whilst subject to the programmes he has completed in prison are embedded. We are cognisant of the fact that it is only in the last three years or so that Mr Poulter has put to one side the second personality, the notion of “hell” contributing to his offending. It is only since his participation in intensive prison based programmes that he has accepted personal responsibility for the crimes that he committed. He continues to explain that on the basis that he could not face the enormity of what he did; he invented the fiction of “hell” to explain it to himself and to others. His response to the question previously asked by one of his victims, “Will the hell person return?” is to say that at the time he was subject to a drug induced psychotic episode which, combined with his antisocial lifestyle and events that had shaped his life, contributed to bring him to the point where he offended.
8. The Board has considered all the written material before us as well as the submissions made before and at the hearing, and, of course, Mr Poulter’s own contribution to the hearing. We accept the view that Mr Poulter needs to continue down the reintegration path that he is presently on. We support the recent development that will permit him to engage in shopping expeditions under escort, and his continuation of reintegration activities. As indicated in the Board’s last decision, we do not see that as a short term project. We decline to direct his release on parole today.
9. Additionally, the Board is of the view that it would be timely for a detailed psychological assessment of the progress that Mr Poulter has made. We appreciate the importance of the significant change that Mr Poulter says occurred during his participation in the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme and the Drug Treatment Programme. Whilst we are fully aware that Mr Poulter’s explanation of “hell” as a fiction he conjured up when interviewed by the Police, and that issue has previously been considered by the psychologists involved in his treatment and assessment, we remain troubled by the explanation and Mr Poulter’s inability to recall some of the events in his past that are relevant to our consideration of his risk. For example, when asked questions on aspects of his conduct around the time of the offending in the course of the hearing, he attributed his inability to recall events to his consumption of LSD and to a “psychotic episode.” Mr Poulter is confident that his abstinence from drugs whilst in prison has removed the risk once and for all. Whilst the Board accepts that since he participated in the Adult Sex Offender Programme, there has been no indication of return to the past, we observe that the change is recent and untested.
10. Accordingly, while we support his participation in reintegration activities and the process of testing that implies, we request an in-depth psychological assessment of the progress he has made before he next appears for parole to be considered.
11. Mr Poulter will be scheduled to return to the Board in July 2016.
Mr N Trendle