SETI - Fatu - 19/10/2015
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 19 October 2015 at [withheld]
Members of the Board:
Alan Ritchie – Panel Convenor
Ms M Coleman
Mr L Tawera
In attendance: [withheld] (Samoan interpreter)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Fatu Seti, 45, appeared for the first consideration of parole on his sentence of five years eight months and 14 days for the rape of a female over 16 committed in 2005.
2. There is no other recorded offending in New Zealand and we have not been advised of any history in Samoa either.
3. The prison security classification is low/medium, the RoC*RoI 0.16319 and the sentence expiry date is 9 August 2019.
4. Mr Seti has been assessed as not meeting the criteria for the Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme. This is because of his low risk represented by the RoC*RoI and the ASRS scores.
5. He presents with an excellent prison behavioural record including as wing leader. He has been industrious in the prison having completed courses in brick and block, English and in first aid.
6. In connection with English Mr Seti was assisted by an interpreter but we gained the impression that his understanding of English was quite reasonable.
7. Mr Seti has also been active in the prison in support of Samoan culture and has often been the link between Samoan inmates and prison staff. He has earned credit in that role.
8. We did gain the impression in discussion with Mr Seti that he rather minimised the offending notwithstanding his acceptance of it. We were left unsatisfied about his explanation for choosing to breach bail and return to Samoa where he resided for several years. He says it was because of a lack of understanding on his part about just what offending he was charged with and all of the related circumstances. This was notwithstanding that he had been required to submit his New Zealand passport.
9. One of the factors which is telling for us, however, is that he did then live for several years in Samoa without any apparent incident. He says he was making arrangements to return to New Zealand at the point when he was extradited. By that stage he had married [withheld]. That was in 2011. She spoke to us about the levels of support she and others have for him.
10. There is indeed a large amount of support in Samoa as evidenced in various letters and papers in front of us and we are satisfied that the concern expressed in the Court of Appeal decision of Va’alele has been met.
11. We elicited from Mr Seti that he would be facing Ifoga on his return to Samoa.
12. The accommodation will be with [withheld] and there is, as we say, any amount of support and the prospect of employment.
13. In all of the circumstances we are satisfied that risk is not undue. We are therefore directing a release on parole.
14. We are specifying his release date as 30 November 2015. We have placed that at some distance out because arrangements have to be put in place for removal. If the arrangements can be settled earlier then the date upon which Mr Seti can be removed from New Zealand will become the date specified for release.
15. We are moving now to set the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act. We are also setting certain special conditions which will be incompatible with the standard conditions and in accordance with section 29AA(4) of the Parole Act we are suspending the standard conditions.
16. Conditions will continue until the sentence expiry date.
17. The special conditions are
(1) To be released into the custody of the New Zealand Police for the purpose of removal from New Zealand in accordance with the Extradition Act 1999.
(2) Not to return to New Zealand.