QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF HADDOCK||Claimant|
|THE PAROLE BOARD OF ENGLAND & WALES & ANR||Defendant|
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7404 1424
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
The First Defendant did not appear and was not represented
Mr V Sachdeva (instructed by Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Second Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
"4.5. While alcohol is clearly a major feature in Mr Haddock's offending and especially with regard to violent offending, alcohol is not always a prerequisite to that offending. Mr Haddock has given other accounts pertaining to his violent actions that have taken place without the consumption of alcohol and that have been premeditated and involved the use of weapons. His views appear to demonstrate his expectations that violence is the norm, both for resolving disagreements and for his personal financial gain. His lifestyle, attitude and behaviour are compounded by his chronic substance misuse, making him a volatile young man. It is Mr Haddock's lack of empathy, choice and use of weapons, lack of consequential thinking and risk taking behaviour, that is the most concerning and lead me to believe that at the time of arrest he did present as a significant risk of serious harm to others.
4.6. In my opinion Mr Haddock certainly has the capability to re-offend and with the risk of causing significant harm. While Mr Haddock assures me of his intentions not to repeat his offending behaviour, the fact remains that he needs to address a number of complex and interlinked criminogenic needs, not only pertaining to his offending but also the lifestyle he had been leading for the past four years, and until such time as he does so his risk will remain unchanged.
5.1. Mr Haddock presents with paradoxes in his thinking. On the one hand he acknowledges his behaviour is wrong but appears unable to translate this knowledge into acceptable behaviour when in the community. Mr Haddock expressed no victim empathy throughout the interview with the exception of one comment, and has shown no insight into any contributing factors associated with his offending."
"What emerges from your offending history is the rapid escalation in the seriousness of your offending from the end of 2005 and into 2006. In the space of ten months there were four separate occasions on which you were violent. The second index offence in August 2006 was particularly cruel and the third index offence in September 2006 was pre planned, protracted and, it seems, unprovoked."
"At the time of sentencing the judge and the author of the pre-sentence report spoke in bleak terms about the risk you presented to the public. Your static risk was very high. You did not make good use of your first few months in custody. But latterly, and particularly since your move to HMP Swaleside in 2009, you have made better progress, albeit hesitant at times. There have been question marks about the work you have done on your drug problem but overall report writers consider that there is no further work for you to do in closed conditions. You have been well behaved in the last two years and report writers remark on the change in you. Taking all of the evidence into account the panel is clear that you are now ready to move to open conditions. The panel is equally clear that you are not yet ready for release. Your abstinence from drug and alcohol needs to be tested in a less restrictive environment. To use Miss Flay's phrase, you need to go to open conditions as a "bridge" into the community. You have no experience of employment, no vocational skills, and little in the way of ordinary life stills. You need to rebuild your relationship with your mother and other members of your family in a controlled manner. The panel recommends to the Secretary of State that you should transfer to open conditions."
"In his first few months here Mr Haddock attracted negative entries and adjudication and was sacked from his job on the gardens. Asked to explain his behaviour on arriving at Ford, Mr Haddock told me he was disappointed to be placed working outside during the winter. He described feeling he was being punished rather than rewarded after improving his behaviour sufficiently to be granted a move to open conditions. From the prison notes it also appears that Mr Haddock was experiencing personal difficulties at the time but was reluctant to discuss these with staff. It should be noted that Mr Haddock did not revert to the violent, destructive behaviour that characterised his early time in prison. Also, since this time he has been building up a good working relationship with his offender supervisor. When I interviewed Mr Haddock he was working in the kitchens at HMP Ford and had been for a number of months. However, he rang me on 16 September 2013 and advised he had been sacked from that position for stealing a meal. He explained he often finds the amount of food given out insufficient and that previous requests for an extra meal had been granted. He admitted that on this occasion he had not asked and just helped himself. To Mr Haddock's credit he has apparently accepted the sacking without protest and he told me he has instead enrolled on carpentry courses. Whilst this indicates greater maturity, there remains evidence of poor decision making on Mr Haddock's part. Although this recent incident might be considered trivial, should Mr Haddock repeat such behaviour on release and make choices that jeopardise his employment and/or accommodation, then there is a danger that plans for resettlement could quickly collapse."
"Given the progress Mr Haddock has made he is now considered as posing a medium risk of serious harm to the public on release from prison. There are clear indicators from his past behaviour that Mr Haddock has the capacity to cause serious harm but he is unlikely to do so unless there are significant changes in his attitude towards offending, he starts drinking alcohol to excess, and/or he returns to associating with others who condone criminal behaviour and the use of violence. I would have concerns that should Mr Haddock struggle to find satisfactory employment on release he may drift back into his previous lifestyle with the potential for him to revert to drug dealing and other forms of criminal activity for money and social status. Returning to such a lifestyle would make the use of violence to settle any disputes and/or bully others for financial gain highly likely. This will have to be carefully monitored when he is released."
"I would however question how much he has really internalised what he has learned and worry he still has an unrealistic and immature attitude towards employment and finances. This may be a reflection of the length of time he has spent in custody and Mr Haddock has indicated a willingness to work with others to successfully return to the community, although there seems a superficiality to this. It is encouraging he has used his time on temporary licence to develop closer relationships with family members and consider options for the future. If the panel are satisfied that Mr Haddock has sufficient motivation to sustain and build upon the positive changes he has made and is ready to be a responsible member of the community, I would recommend release to an approved premise in the first instance."
"Mr Haddock has completed ETS and victim awareness courses and these have given him an insight into his offending behaviour and the effects it has on the victims and hopefully this will further reduce his risk."
"Excessive alcohol use, aggressive conduct, frequenting antisocial peers and a breakdown of relationship with staff will indicate that Mr Haddock is in a period of acute risk and is engaging in behaviours which have directly led to misbehaving in the past. Recall action is appropriate in this instance."
"Unwillingness to comply with rules and a poor work record."
"You seem unable to understand the concern of professionals as to how meeting some of your old associates is linked to the risk of re-offending and the risk of serious harm that you pose. On 4 October 2013 all your leave was cancelled, partly due to the reports of this incident and partly due to reports of poor behaviour. There were signs of improvement when you attended a carpentry course and you were employed in the laundry. But there followed further warnings about timekeeping, poor work ethic and attitudes to staff. Miss Sanders had spoken to you about your conduct on 15 April 2014 but you had then received another warning on 29 April."
"The Board accepted at your last review that you have been able to demonstrate a reduction in risk as a result of your behaviour in closed conditions and work you have done on offending behaviour. However, the process of testing in open conditions has been disappointing when compared with the objectives set out by the panel at the last review. Your recent conduct in prison, so close to a parole hearing, suggests serious flaws in your consequential thinking skills. The panel identified a continued lack of insight in realising the risk there is in pursuing relationships with former associates with whom you have engaged in criminal activity, however much you may feel that they are now a good influence on you. The panel concluded that your risk of serious harm to the public is correctly addressed as significant."
"Despite being in open conditions for about 18 months you have failed to meet important objectives that were set for you at the end of the last review. The panel decided that it remains essential for you to tackle these in order to demonstrate that you have a solid platform in the community for resettlement and management of your risk, so that you are unlikely to slip back into your previous lifestyle. Until this has occurred the panel, whilst unable to come to the conclusion that the risk you presented to life and limb is no more than minimal, felt it was not therefore appropriate to direct your release."
"Your review process is expected to take 26 weeks to complete as it involves the preparation of reports and coordination of various parties, including the PPCS, the Prison Service and the Parole Board. Your parole review will commence in November 2014 and will aim to be concluded by July 2015."
"5. As soon as (a) a life prisoner to whom this section applies has served the relevant part of his sentence (b) the Parole Board has directed his release under this section, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to release him on licence.
6. The Parole Board shall not give a direction under sub-section 5 above with respect to a life prisoner to whom this section applies unless (a) the Secretary of State has referred the prisoner's case to the Board and (b) the Board is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner should be confined."
"16. It is well recognised in the authorities that the Parole Board is a reservoir of expertise and knowledge and it is not for this court simply to substitute its own decision, however strong may be this court's view, for that of the Parole Board.
17. It is common ground that it is for the Parole Board and not for this court to weigh the various considerations which it must take into account. It is common ground that the weight to be given to relevant considerations is a matter for the Parole Board and certainly for example the decision on the balancing exercise is one for the Board and not for the court to carry out."