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VINCENT - Alfred - 28/08/15

Parole hearing

Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002


Alfred Thomas VINCENT

Hearing: 28 August 2015

Members of the Board: 

   Hon M A Frater – Panel Convenor
   Judge P Gittos
   Dr J Skipworth
   Mr L Comer

Lawyers:   [withheld]

In attendance:   [withheld]


1. Alfred Thomas Vincent, aged 77, is serving a sentence of preventive detention imposed for sexual offending against young boys.  He is now in his 47th year in custody.

2. Over the years he has been subject to a number of postponement orders.  There have been two since 2003.  He appeared today following the expiry of a three year order made on 31 August 2012.

3. Mr Vincent was represented today by [withheld] who has represented him for 14 years or more, and [withheld].  We also had the benefit of hearing from [withheld] and the Residential Manager, [withheld], both of whom have worked with and known Mr Vincent for many years.

4. During the past three years. Mr Vincent has moved between [withheld]. He is currently in [withheld], where he is likely to stay for the foreseeable future. He has maintained a minimum security classification and has not been mentioned in any misconduct reports.

5. Mr Vincent has experienced a number of serious health issues.  He had [withheld], has [withheld], and his eyesight and hearing are failing.  Despite this, he does not currently meet the criteria for the High Dependency Unit at [withheld].

6. There has also been a noticeable deterioration in Mr Vincent’s understanding of what is going on around him, and his offending.  However, his risk of sexual re-offending remains.  Despite his advanced years, he is said to exhibit a strong and persistent pattern of highly sexualised interest and behaviour.  If anything, he has become more disinhibited. But he is not amenable to treatment.  He has started the [withheld] Child Sex Offender Treatment Programme four times and completed it once.  There is no question of a further referral.  He is highly institutionalised, and, as [withheld] acknowledged at the outset, has no plan for release.

7. Mr Vincent continues to be assessed as posing a high risk of sexual re-offending. 

8. In the circumstances, parole is declined. All agree that he would need an “extremely robust” release plan to remain offence free in the community. Effectively he would need 24 hour supervision and care.

9. Once again the question of postponement arises.  From 2 September the Board will have the power to impose an order of up to five years duration.

10. This matter will be considered by the Board on 5 October next.

11. Mr Vincent will be given formal notice of his rights to legal advice and representation in respect of that matter. 

12. Given our observations about his apparent cognitive deterioration, the Board will obtain an independent psychiatric assessment of Mr Vincent’s ability to instruct counsel in respect of postponement and his understanding of the implications of making such an order.

13. If, as we suspect, the report indicates that Mr Vincent is not competent to give instructions, it may well be necessary for an application to be made under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act for a welfare guardian to be appointed to act on his behalf.


Hon M A Frater
Panel Convenor