Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 10 February 2017 at [Withheld]
Members of the Board:
DECISION OF THE BOARD
1. Nika Abraham is serving a life sentence of imprisonment for murder.
2. He was sentenced on 4 April 2003 and became eligible to be considered for release on parole on 25 April 2015.
3. He is now 36 years of age.
4. Since the last hearing, on 25 September 2015, he has transferred from [Withheld] to [Withheld]. That happened at the beginning of February 2016.
5. He is not causing any problems or any trouble in custody. He has held a minimum security classification since 9 September 2013. And that is probably part of his problem. He said that he feels “stagnant as” where he is.
6. The last Board supported his engagement in individual psychological treatment and the STURP, if recommended, and identified them as relevant activities for the purposes of section 21A(b)(c).
7. Since then Mr Abraham has had a brief intervention with a departmental psychologist during which he made significant disclosures and, according to the psychologist, achieved “some advancement in his insight and emerging victim empathy and remorse.” However, further treatment is recommended. And clearly Mr Abraham is ready for that. He is trying to process the enormity of his offending – what he did and why he did it. He has only begun what is likely to be a very long process.
8. He is not considered suitable for the STURP programme. He needs to engage in further individual treatment. Possibly in blocks, over an extensive period.
9. Mr Abraham is very well aware of the consequences of his offending. At the beginning of the hearing he was told about the meeting which the convenor had with [Withheld]. Mr Abraham understands and is obviously extremely sorry for the hurt he has caused. He does not want to offend again or for another family to have to go through what his victims’ family have experienced. He wants to address his offending.
10. Mr Abraham was supported today by [Withheld]. She observed that during his time in custody he has, “Improved a hang of a lot.” She said that he used to be, “an angry young dude.”
11. In the absence of any rehabilitative treatment Mr Abraham is gainfully occupied working in the external grounds. He enjoys this work and it is a trusted position. He accepts that he has further work to do on his release and safety plan. But that is for the future.
12. At this stage parole is declined.
13. We had some discussion about the appropriate interval before Mr Abraham’s next hearing. By a majority we have determined that that should be for the maximum period allowable under section 21A of the Parole Act 2002. That is simply a reflection of the considerable work which we believe Mr Abraham needs to undertake before there can be any consideration of his release or even his progression to reintegrative activities.
14. Given that, Mr Abraham’s next hearing will be in just under two years time, but, in any event, must be held before 10 February 2019.
Hon. M A Frater