Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 20 December 2016 at (withheld) via AVL at New Zealand Parole Board, Head Office, (withheld)
Members of the Board:
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Paora Langley is serving a sentence of five years six months’ imprisonment for manslaughter. He became eligible for parole on 1 October 2016 and he has a statutory release date of 31 May 2020.
2. Mr Langley was initially charged with and convicted of murder. He successfully appealed against that conviction and at the retrial was convicted of manslaughter. This resulted in Mr Langley being on remand for some 712 days. His parole eligibility date preceded his sentencing date. He was sentenced on 18 November 2016.
3. Mr Langley has a limited history of three previous convictions. He has a RoC*RoI of 0.32027.
4. Prior to today’s hearing the Board received an email from a registered victim expressing concern that Mr Langley was to be considered for parole and commenting on Mr Langley’s approach to trial and the evidence that he gave. In response Mr Langley said that at his first trial he followed the advice of his then counsel. Prior to the second trial he discussed matters with his new counsel and made the commitment to tell the truth. He said that he was sorry for what he had done to his victim. We will return to that issue shortly.
5. Mr Langley is presently detained in voluntary segregation. He is waitlisted to attend the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme or alternatively the Short Rehabilitation Programme. He told us today that he understands he is to be transferred to (withheld) Prison where they conduct the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme. He is motivated to participate in the programme and to complete it.
6. Mr Langley was represented by his counsel Mr Jepson who filed submissions in advance of the hearing. Though the Board does not have a completed parole assessment before it today, Mr Jepson indicated that Mr Langley wished the hearing to proceed as he was highly motivated to attend the rehabilitation programmes that are on his sentence plan which had already been discussed with him.
7. In his current environment there are no problems with Mr Langley’s conduct or his compliance. His PCO who accompanied him to the Board confirmed his motivation to change and to participate in the programmes identified.
8. [Withheld] advised the Board that he had spent considerable time with Mr Langley prior to the retrial and subsequently. In his submission he said Mr Langley had always shown appropriate and true remorse. Whilst he may have difficulty in explaining himself on occasions, he remarked that Mr Langley genuinely felt for the people he hurt. Counsel indicated that whereas some of Mr Langley’s victim’s family are accepting of his taking responsibility for his crime and his remorse, others are not.
9. Mr Langley is fortunate to have good support. He was supported before the Board today by (withheld).
10. The Board is of the view that there is work for Mr Langley to do before his risk could be assessed as meeting the statutory test for parole. We raised with him at the conclusion of the hearing, the alternative of the [Withheld] programme instead of the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme. Whilst the alternative was not referred to in the parole assessment report, given that Mr Langley may be transferred to a prison that has [Withheld], it may well be worth him considering a transfer to that unit and for completion of the first two phases of the [Withheld] programme. A decision can then be made as to whether he needs to attend the drug treatment phase.
11. As indicated, for today parole is declined. Mr Langley will be scheduled to return to the Board in 12 months’ time by 31 December 2017.