Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Cameron Charles PRESLAND
Hearing: 15 December 2016 at [Withheld]
Members of the Board:
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Cameron Charles Presland, aged 22, makes his first appearance before the Board on a sentence of four years nine months imprisonment. The sentence was imposed on 2 June 2015 and the parole eligibility date will be 1 January 2017. The sentence ends on 1 March 2020.
2. The sentence was imposed for very serious offending, manslaughter (x 2) and dangerous driving causing injury (x 2). He entered a plea of guilty to all matters after a sentence indication had been provided. Mr Presland had taken possession of a vehicle which was not registered and did not have a warrant of fitness. It had been modified. He was aware of these facts. After leaving a party where he had consumed some alcohol, he drove at speed and lost control of the vehicle on a moderate right-hand bend. The car collided with a tree and a metal pole. The estimated speed by crash investigators was something between 142 kilometres per hour and 163 kilometres per hour.
3. When Mr Presland was taken to hospital for treatment, a blood sample was taken. It was found to contain 79 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
4. The people who died were Shannon and Danielle Kiriau. The two injured were Courtney Donald and Caitlin Adams. Mr Presland had been in a relationship with Danielle Kiriau for approximately two years before the offence.
5. At sentencing it was noted that Mr Presland had taken part in restorative justice with [Withheld].
6. Mr Presland has a static risk score of 0.616 and a list of previous convictions which stretches to two pages on the printed list. This is his first term of imprisonment and he has no previous convictions for dangerous driving or similar. Of note however, are five convictions for breaches of community work, the most recent being in 2015.
7. The Board has letters from [Withheld]. These have been provided to Mr Presland to read but not to retain. They are clearly opposed to release and believe that it is too early for the Board to consider release.
8. At the hearing today, Mr Presland was represented by counsel, [Withheld]. Counsel submitted that her client had successfully completed the [Withheld] programme. His progress was evidenced by the fact that he had been retained as a mentor after completion. She also referred to the many letters of support which have been provided for the Board.
9. [Withheld] was clear that her client was seeking release and proposed to live with [Withheld]. She saw this as a suitable option as it provided support and appropriate boundaries. There was also the possibility of employment with his [Withheld].
10. It was also submitted that Mr Presland had made efforts to leave behind his previously unhelpful lifestyle balance. Further, his significant period on bail without breach showed that he would be able to comply with the conditions of parole were he to be released.
11. Before the hearing, the Board received a number of letters of support from [Withheld]. There is also a recent letter from Mr Presland himself, received on 27 October 2016.
12. The parole assessment report notes that there has been a significant change in Mr Presland’s attitude and behaviour since he was sentenced. Early in his time in prison, he was described as demanding and argumentative. More recently, he has been described as polite, compliant and well-mannered.
13. Mr Presland successfully completed the [Withheld] programme on 21 October 2016. During his time on the programme he also undertook some individual counselling. He is recorded as having made progress in his personal development and to have taken on board the content of the programme. On completion of the programme he was asked to remain there as a mentor, assisting other prisoners who were just about to begin the programme.
14. The parole assessment report also notes that Mr Presland is scheduled to undertake the [Withheld] Programme at some stage during his sentence, should he remain in custody. No date for this has been given.
15. The issue of Mr Presland’s non-compliance with previous community-based sentences is of concern. It has been discussed with him. The Board is satisfied that because of the very serious nature of the current offending, Mr Presland’s view of the world has changed significantly. It also takes into account the fact that he spent time on remand on bail without breach.
16. If released, Mr Presland proposes to live with [Withheld]. This is seen as suitable by the probation officer. His [Withheld] have clear expectations about Mr Presland obtaining employment or completing any necessary programmes in the community. His [Withheld], attended the hearing today. It may well be that [Withheld] is able to provide employment.
17. In deciding whether or not to release a prisoner, the Board is must follow the principles set out in section 7 of the Parole Act 2002. It is clear that the Board does not and cannot take into account the length of time served or the length of time left to serve on a sentence. The length of sentence is a matter for the Court. That has already been decided and his parole eligibility date is set by statute.
18. The Board must be satisfied that if released the Board will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community or any class of persons within the term of the sentence. The Board must give due weight to the submissions of the victims. It must also have in mind the principle that an offender must not be detained any longer than is consistent with the safety of the community. Taking all these things into account, the Board is satisfied that if released from parole on strict conditions, Mr Presland’s risk will be mitigated to the point where he will not pose an undue risk to the safety of the community.
19. This is based on the fact that he has behaved as expected in the prison environment and has completed an appropriate rehabilitative programme aimed at reducing his risk of committing further offences. It also takes into account his relatively short list of previous convictions and the degree of support that he will have in the community at his [Withheld] home.
20. Accordingly, his release is directed for 16 January 2017.
21. The special and standard conditions will remain in force until the statutory release date. This is with the exception of the condition regarding curfew which will remain in force for six months from the date of release.
22. The special conditions are:
(1) To attend an assessment for a Departmental Programme. To attend and complete an appropriate Departmental Programme if and as recommended by the assessment to the satisfaction of your Probation Officer and programme provider.
(2) Undertake and complete appropriate treatment/counselling to the satisfaction of the Probation Officer and treatment provider. The details of the counselling or treatment to be determined by your Probation Officer.
(3) To reside at [Withheld], and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(4) To notify your Probation Officer prior to starting, terminating or changing your position or place of employment.
(5) You are not to have contact or otherwise associate with the victim(s) of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written consent of your Probation Officer.
(6) For 6 months from the 16 January 2017 not to be away from your approved address between the hours of 10pm and 6am daily without the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
Mr J Thomson