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MAHIA - David Jackson - 13/09/2018

Compassionate release hearing

Under section 41(3) of the Parole Act 2002

David Jackson MAHIA

Hearing: 13 September 2018

at New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington, on papers

Members of the Board:

  • Alan Ritchie – Panel Convenor
  • Sir Ron Young – Chairperson
  • Ms W Taumaunu
  • Mr R Gray

DECISION OF THE BOARD

  1. The Board has given further consideration to the question of compassionate release for David Jackson Mahia, 36.
  2. Mr Mahia is serving a life sentence for murder and sexual violation, committed in 2013.  There is a serious criminal history with offending dating back to 1996, which includes several instances of violence.
  3. The prison security classification is low/medium and the RoC*RoI .60929.
  4. The parole eligibility date is 13 August 2025.
  5. In this decision references to the Act or to sections are references to the Parole Act 2002 or to sections of that Act.
  6. On 26 July 2018 the Board considered a referral from the Board’s then Chairperson, the Hon J W Gendall QC.  As required by section 41(2) the referral set out the Chairperson’s reasons.
  7. The Board declined to give a direction for release on compassionate grounds at that point.  It agreed with the chairperson that the provisions of section 41 of the Act were met in that Mr Mahia was seriously ill and unlikely to recover.  However, the question for the Board was whether the proposed compassionate release address was appropriate.
  8. The Board also noted that Mr Mahia was, apparently, under good management in a purpose-built cell in the medical unit of the prison.  There was a reference to hospice placement at the appropriate time, but Mr Mahia was firm that he did not wish to be released to the hospice facility but to an address provided by his family.
  9. The last Board thought there were some question marks about the appropriateness of the address and did have some concern also about some earlier intimidating behaviour by Mr Mahia towards a corrections officer.
  10. That last Board did say that the time might come when release on compassionate grounds would be justified.
  11. We now have a further referral from the Board’s chairperson, Sir Ron Young.  He has noted that seven weeks has now passed since the last consideration.  He referred to some relevant updating information in regard to Mr Mahia’s health and made the referral accordingly.
  12. We have considered the further information.  There is no basis on which we could conclude otherwise than did the last Board that Mr Mahia is seriously ill and is unlikely to recover.
  13. There has been some further information provided about the proposed accommodation.  It seems as though the Department believes that Mr Mahia is manageable at the proposed address.  We expect the Department will, nevertheless, be cautious in its oversight of the whole situation given that we are now disposed toward directing release on compassionate grounds.
  14. We note that the address will be at [withheld].
  15. Under section 51(3) an offender who has been directed by the Board to be released on compassionate release must be released from prison on the date specified by the Board. We are specifying 17 September 2018.  It will be, as we say, to the [withheld] address, but it is on the basis of Community Corrections being able to oversee and manage the accommodation requirements to suit any changing circumstances.
  16. We are setting standard conditions (as provided for by section 14) and certain special conditions of release with all conditions continuing for life.  It will be apparent from the circumstances of this case and from the special condition which modifies standard reporting requirements that the there is an incompatibility between the conditions and for that reason we are (in accordance with section 41(3)) waiving the obligation to comply with the standard conditions as the circumstances reasonably dictate.
  17. The special conditions are:

    (a) To remain at [withheld] and not to move from that address without the prior written approval of a probation officer with such approval being given where medical and treatment circumstances reasonably dictate.

    (b) Not to travel north of Tweed Street, Invercargill, except where there is prior written approval of a probation officer. This condition will be amplified in a map supplied by the probation officer.

    (c) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with, directly or indirectly any victim of your offending except where there is prior written approval of a probation officer.

    (d) Not to associate or otherwise have contact with any person under the age of 16 years except where there is prior written approval by a probation officer which may be given where there is a direct supervision of a person over the age of 20 and approved in writing by a probation officer.

    (e) Not to possess, use or consume, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled medicines prescribed to you by a health professional.

    (f) To report to a probation officer when directed to do so by a probation officer, but any such direction will be given only when your medical and treatment circumstances reasonably allow.

 Alan Ritchie
Panel Convenor