QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
1 Oxford Row
B e f o r e :
|(ON THE APPLICATION OF KIM HOVENDEN)||Claimant|
|THE PAROLE BOARD||Defendant|
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Mr T Buley (instructed by Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
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i. "Based on what has happened in the past, in the absence of treatment and in light of your behaviour whilst on licence, the Panel have concluded if re-released there is a real and significant risk of you once again breaching licensed conditions with the consequential risk of you committing further sexual offences. Given this, the very vulnerable nature of your previous victims and the escalating nature of your sexual offending the Panel has concluded that your risks are such that your continued confinement remains necessary for public protection purposes."
i. "The Secretary of State must not release (the prisoner) under subsection (2) unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that it is not necessary for the protection of the public that (the prisoner) should remain in prison..."
i. "A three member panel of the Parole Board considered your case at an oral hearing on 24th January 2014. In deciding whether to direct your release the Panel must release you unless it is satisfied that there exists a risk that you will commit offences of the type for which you were sentenced or the licence is broken down to a point where supervision has been rendered impossible. The Panel also explored any areas of continuing risk."
i. "The Panel considers your risk factors to include repeated and entrenched sexual offending; sexual preference for children indicating disordered thinking around sexual relationships; a willingness to put your own gratification above the needs of others, leading to an absence of sexual boundaries, predatory manipulative and grooming behaviour; and a lack of more general consequential thinking skills. Discussing your risk factors with the Panel you said the misuse of alcohol was a potential risk factor but you had consumed alcohol in prison and considered that you could manage your intake in the community. You could not think of any other risk factors."
(1) It might have been better to set out the correct test within section 255C(3) "the public protection test" in clear terms at the outset of the decision.
(2) The high watermark of the claimant's submission, in my view, is that the opening paragraph was perhaps infelicitous of language. It must be remembered this was a decision addressed directly to the claimant himself not designed for lawyers.
(3) That infelicity of language in any event embraces a number of legitimate factual matters that may be considered under the public protection test.
(4) In any event the infelicity of language in the opening paragraph does not permeate the remainder of the decision; far from it. A careful analysis of the various factors is demonstrated.
(5) When reaching a conclusion it is plain the Parole Board had the correct public protection test well in mind.