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MILFORD - Faamanu - 07/03/2018

Application for variation of conditions – parole

Under section 56(2) of the Parole Act 2002

[withheld]
Probation Officer
Applicant

Faamanu MILFORD

Hearing: 7 March 2018

at Rimutaka Prison via AVL to NZ Parole Board Office

Members of the Board:

  • Alan Ritchie – Panel Convenor
  • Mr B McMurray
  • Mr D Hauraki

Counsel:

  • Mr F Handy – for Respondent
  • Ms O'Sullivan – for Applicant

DECISION OF THE BOARD

  1. The Board has considered an application for variation of conditions to attach to the release of Faamanu Milford, 41, at the end of his sentence of 11 years one month for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and assaulting a prison officer.  There is a limited offending history but it does include assaulting a female in 2002.
  2. The prison security classification is minimum, the RoC*Rol .18648 and the sentence expiry date is 21 March 2018.
  3. The wounding and kidnapping attracted a sentence (after appeal) of 11 years.  The victims were Mr Milford’s then partner along with his three young children who all required emergency surgery.  It was extremely serious violence to say the least.  The impact on the victims has been profound.
  4. The assault on a prison officer occurred in 2009 and attracted a cumulative sentence of one month.
  5. On 15 December 2017 the Board was left to set final release conditions in the face of some very significant risk factors but, in the absence of any developed release proposal.
  6. The Board noted psychological and psychiatric input.  There had been an inability to engage in group-based treatment but there had been individual work which the Board said must be continued on release.
  7. That Board also noted that there was to be a needs assessment.  It invited
    Mr Milford’s case manager or his Principal Corrections Officer to refer the matter again to the prison health team to ensure that the necessary steps were being undertaken.  We are told today by the Department that there is still no progress on that.  The other point that the last Board wished to emphasise was the orderly handover to community mental health for the management and oversight of Mr Milford’s mental health and medication requirements.
  8. The Department has now reviewed the whole situation.  In its application dated 22 February 2018 supplemented by a further memorandum of 5 March 2018, dynamic risk factors were noted as interpersonal aggression, criminal attitudes, emotional control, weapon use, mental illness, substance abuse, lack of community support and impulsivity.
  9. The Department said Mr Milford was under the care of regional forensic mental health with a working diagnosis of [withheld].  In the Department’s view there was a need for variation of conditions as set by the last Board.  We do not find that surprising given, as that Board said, it was working without any developed release proposals, and in particular, the accommodation now proposed.  The further conditions urged now by the Department are designed to:
    1. Restrict contact with people under 16 given that Mr Milford is described by health staff as fixated on reconnecting with his children.
    2. Require engagement with community mental health. In this connection the Department has described concern over whether Mr Milford would stick to his medication.  It says failure to do so will significantly increase risk. We note from paragraph 27 of the psychological report of 28 September 2017 a statement saying that Mr Milford disclosed at interview that on his release from prison he intended not to accept anti-psychotic medication.  The psychologist added that this was of particular concern given the distressing nature of the hallucinations being experienced by Mr Milford and concern that they may worsen in the absence of pharmacological intervention.
    3. Meet the interests of victims through electronic monitoring of whereabouts.
  10. The Department has indicated that psychiatric advice on hand at this stage is that Mr Milford does not meet the criteria for a compulsory treatment order.  We do have some concern about that and that is why we have decided to add a further condition requiring Mr Milford to undergo psychiatric assessment and to comply with recommendations made by such assessment.
  11. On a more positive note it is pleasing that Mr Milford has been accepted by [withheld] which provides accommodation and dedicated staff support on a 24 hour daily basis.
  12. The Department has also sought a condition requiring Mr Milford to seek approval before commencing employment or vocational training.
  13. For Mr Milford, Mr Handy, after discussion, acknowledged there would be benefit in the psychiatric assessment which we have suggested.  On the other hand Mr Handy indicated opposition to the need for electronic monitoring under GPS.  He pointed to the more limited approach taken by the last Board and he said that there would be adequate protective factors available through [withheld].  As we have already noted, the last Board did not have the advantage of the address proposal.  We are positive that had it been aware of that it would have set the conditions now sought in relation to electronic monitoring.
  14. We have given consideration to the whereabouts condition.  This is something of significant importance in terms of victim interests and we are minded to make things somewhat more restrictive by requiring Mr Milford not to move out of the Otago province.  There is a logic about that in any event, given the curfew requirements.  As is usual with such conditions there can be exceptions where there is prior written approval of a probation officer.
  15. We are granting the department’s application but we are also moving, as described above, to re-work and adjust various of the proposed conditions.
  16. Mr Milford will be released on his statutory release date.  He will be subject to the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act and to certain special conditions with all conditions continuing for six months beyond the statutory release date.
  17. One of the conditions relates to alcohol and drugs and we advise Mr Milford of his obligation to submit to the monitoring or testing of compliance with that condition when directed by an authorised person.
  18. The special conditions are:

    (1) To reside at an address provided by [withheld] as approved by a probation officer and not to move from that or any other approved address without the prior written approval of a probation officer.

    (2) To comply with any tenancy agreement and all rules and guidelines issued by any accommodation provider.

    (3) Not to be away from your approved address between the hours as specified by your accommodation provider or if none are so specified then not to be away from the approved address between the hours of 8.00 pm and 8.00 am daily except where you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.

    (4) To submit to electronic monitoring in the form of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology as directed by a probation officer in order that your compliance with any condition relating to your whereabouts can be monitored.

    (5) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring and provide access to the approved address to a probation officer and representatives of a monitoring company for the purposes of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by a probation officer.

    (6) Not to enter any part of New Zealand outside the Otago province except where you have the prior written approval of a probation officer.

    (7) To participate in and comply with all aspects of the reintegrative residential programme provided by [withheld] as directed by your probation officer and to the satisfaction of the probation officer and the service provider.

    (8) To disclose to a probation officer, at the earliest opportunity, the details of any intimate relationship you start, resume or terminate.

    (9) Not to possess or consume alcohol or possess or use any controlled drugs or psychoactive substances.

    (10) To obtain written approval from your probation officer before starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment, whether paid or voluntary, or your training or education.

    (11) To undertake a psychiatric assessment as directed by a probation officer and to comply with any recommendations of such assessment as directed by a probation officer and to satisfaction of probation officer and any service provider.

    (12) If directed, you are to attend for a psychological assessment and to attend and complete any programme, treatment or counselling as may be recommended by such assessment to the satisfaction of a probation officer and service provider.

    (13) To engage with community mental health services to the satisfaction of the community mental health practitioner and a probation officer.

    (14) To take, with your consent, any medication prescribed by a health professional to the satisfaction of the health professional and the probation officer.

    (15) Not to associate with, or contact (directly or indirectly) any person under the age of 16 years without the prior written approval of a probation officer unless you are in the presence of and under the supervision of an informed adult approved by a probation officer.

Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor