Jarrod Allan MANGLES - 12/03/2019
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Jarrod Allan MANGLES
Hearing: 12 March 2019
at Christchurch Men’s Prison
Members of the Board:
- Judge N MacLean – Panel Convenor
- Assoc Prof. P Brinded
- Ms G Hughes
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Jarrod Allan Mangles is before the Board for the sixth time serving a life sentence for murder.
- He is now aged 46. The offending occurred when he was 15 but as recorded in previous Board decisions it was not until much later that through DNA testing there was evidence to bring him to trial.
- He had pleaded guilty in the course of the trial.
- The last Board in May 2017 noted that they had met relatives of the victim who were opposed to release and if release was to be entertained wanted some restrictions.
- This Board also met with the relatives and their position remains essentially the same. We told Mr Mangles of the thrust of their concerns which essentially are that they simply cannot understand how he can claim to have a complete loss of memory about the events, that they did not want release in Dunedin, or south of Dunedin. Also that they were concerned about whether, if he was released, he would revert to drug abuse and the consequences of that.
- Mr Mangles’ response was to accept that that was their right to convey those views, but he re-emphasised that he still has absolutely no recall of events and struggles now to differentiate between what he has learnt through reading and hearing the evidence and his own recollection.
- There was a further point raised by the victim’s family. They had advised the Board at the latest meeting that there was an occasion in which a friend of the family had come across Mr Mangles when he was working on the dairy farm at Otago Corrections Facility. Mr Mangles said that he had no awareness of that at all and was surprised that if that had happened that it had not been brought to his attention. As to drugs, he said that he has absolutely no intention of using them in the future and has not touched them for a long time.
- The dilemma facing the Board which we discussed with Mr Mangles is this:
- He wants to be transferred back to the Otago Corrections Facility and to pick up again with work on the dairy farm. He then wants to be considered for release to an address of [withheld] where he has some support and the prospect of being able to commute to work at a dairy farm yet to be organised. He accepts that a restriction from him going to Southland is understandable and does not disagree with that.
- We pointed out to him that although the parole assessment report (PAR) talks about that address being approved, the Board in fact does not have any of the necessary documentation under section 34 that it would need before entertaining that, accompanied by electronic monitoring as proposed and accepted by him. He says that he thinks he has signed all the necessary forms.
- The further problem is that the opinion of the psychologist and the writers of the PAR is that the most appropriate release proposal would be to [withheld]. He is adamant that he is not prepared to even consider that. His expressed reasons were that that is a place where long-term sentenced prisoners and criminals are located and that he does not want to be associated with them in any way. He also has a perception that if he went there he would most likely be recalled because his understanding is that even the most minor transgressions could result in that.
- He tells us that perception comes from discussions with other prisoners but he accepts that they may have a somewhat biased view on that.
- The Board explored further with him why it had to be [withheld] that he would be released to and where he would work.
- We raised with him a possible alternative transfer to Waikeria, where there is a dairy farm and the opportunity to further improve his dairying skills, then obtain work there either on a Release to Work basis or on eventual release.
- He told us that his reservations are that that would be away from his established support structure and would involve him having to make new contacts.
- He is pessimistic about the prospects of Release to Work at Christchurch Prison and/or any other North Island prison.
- That partly stems from the fact that as he is aware he has not been granted Release to Work here because of personality issues and in particular his reaction when there was a difficult situation at the dairy farm here when he became annoyed at the way the person in charge of a particular operation with the cattle was carrying out the task and expressed his views fairly bluntly.
- He was supported today by [withheld]. Their position essentially is that they think he is ready for release.
- The Board has also received a recent letter from [withheld]. She noted that she visits [Jarrod Mangles] regularly, both when he was at Otago and latterly in Christchurch Men’s Prison.
- She also maintains close contact with [withheld].
- She noted her ongoing willingness to support [Jarrod Mangles] to the extent she can and help to liaise with [withheld] as they re-develop their relationship.
- In a letter of 4 February 2019 she notes that she is aware that [Jarrod Mangles] wants to re‑establish his ties in Otago but observes, “If the Parole Board do not think this is a suitable location then there are several places available for reintegration in the Christchurch area. Family members also for many years have been supporting Jarrod emotionally, however due to the ages of some of the relatives, they have not been physically able to do more for him. Therefore I feel that Jarrod would then be able to pay back their care by now being able to support them more in their twilight years, they would also appreciate a favourable outcome to the Board.”
- So far as the issue of Release to Work is concerned, and Mr Mangles’ perceptions that he is unlikely to be allowed to undertake that in Christchurch or a prison other than at Otago, the PAR notes that when he was working outside the wire on the prison dairy farm, commencing in September 2017, there have been some issues with his communication style. He is described as, “At times coming across as gruff or in an aggressive manner if frustrated or confronted.” The report goes on to say that there has been an improvement over time but that what was behind it seemed to be, as Mr Mangles confirmed, “That he could often see better ways of doing things on the farm, however he was usually made to continue doing things the way they were; this he found frustrating. The other area of tension for Mr Mangles, he reported, was the daily rub‑down searches returning through the gatehouse as he was often touched inappropriately in the groin area… it was noted that he appeared considerably more relaxed once he commenced work on the internal grounds of the prison.”
- All that suggests to the Board that the issue of Release to Work, wherever it be, and the solution to that, largely lies in the hands of Mr Mangles. Clearly, the authorities are going to be uneasy about Release to Work if he persisted with the aggressive manner described and let his frustrations get the better of him.
- We do not see that as in insurmountable obstacle to Release to Work at a prison other than in Otago.
- Mr Mangles made some interesting comments when we discussed what his objection to the concept of going to [withheld] was. His answer is that that is the place where long-term violent criminals serving life sentences go. When it was pointed out to him that that description exactly fits his situation, his distinction is that they are people who misbehave while in prison. On his part, his conduct causes no problem.
- That is a rather sweeping statement on his behalf, and as noted earlier, it may to some extent arise from misperceptions he had received from talking with other prisoners.
- We are very conscious of the concerns of the victims’ relatives who have remained in contact with the Board for a long time now. They have legitimate concerns and the Board is required to give due regard to those concerns.
- The Board is concerned that Mr Mangles is displaying an inflexibly rigid approach to alternatives that could accommodate the victim concerns. He seems to be dismissing the prospect of [withheld] on grounds that are somewhat superficial.
- There are alternatives for him to work his way through the reintegration process such as [withheld] or, alternatively, transfer to a North Island prison with a dairy farm and the possibility of Release to Work there.
- In the circumstances, therefore, the Board is not prepared to grant parole as we feel the risk to the public would be too great if he was released to the address that he proposes and the follow-on implications of all that in terms of the victim interest.
- Accordingly, parole is declined.
- The ball is largely in Mr Mangles’ court. We suspect that the necessary change in attitude may take some time for Mr Mangles to get to grips with. We may be wrong on that. We hope so.
- In the circumstances, however, the Board will not see him again until the extended Board sitting in February 2020, before the end of the month.
- Should matters change substantially the option is always there for Mr Mangles to bring an application to bring the Board hearing forward.
Judge N MacLean