Former Christian politician and convicted sex offender Graham Capill is to be released next month after six years behind bars.
Capill was sentenced to nine years in jail in July 2005 after admitting sex crimes against three young girls, starting in 1990, the year after he became party leader.
He was granted parole and will be released next month with conditions to last until his sentence end date, after the Parole Board, in a ruling released today, said it was satisfied that he was unlikely to reoffend.
Convener Judge John MacDonald said Capill's completion of the nine-month Kia Marama child-sex offenders programme, and a physchological report in May which assessed him as posing a low to meduim long-term risk of reoffending, helped the board reach its decision.
The completion of the Kia Marama program "was important in Capill being able to demonstrate some reduction in his risk".
Secondly, "the psychologist noted that Capill had made progress in intellectually understanding his offending and the salient skills for managing his risk for reoffending," Judge MacDonald said.
"Significantly given his progress in treatment coupled with adherence to his parol conditions, the psycologist assessed this as being sufficient to manage his low/meduim recidivism rate risk upon release.
"We further take into account that Capill has presented well to the board and it certainly is a contrast to his presentation three years ago."
Judge MacDonald said Capill has a strong support in the community and it appeared to the board that "his supporters now have a greater awareness of the possible pitfalls for Capill on release".
Two support meetings have been held recently and that has been helpful for all concerned, he said.
The board received submmission from the victims, but Judge MacDonald said "we are satisfied, however, that the risks they refer to can be adequately managed by parole conditions".
"Capill has no other convictions and there is nothing to indicate that he would not abide by an conditions imposed."
His conditions included residing at an address approved by the probation officer and not having contact with any person 16 years of age or younger unless an adult over 20 who had the approval of the probation officer was present.
Capill became eligible for parole three years ago after serving a third of his sentence. He was usually considered for release each September. His final release date was June 2014.
He was granted an early parole hearing in June after he completed the Kia Marama programme and had a robust release plan to an approved address.
When the early hearing was announced Parole Board chairman Sir David Carruthers said Capill had complied with the board's requirements "so it is fair that he has an earlier hearing to put his case to the board to assess".
When the board declined parole last September, it stated Capill was a low- security offender, drug-free, well-behaved, and keeping busy in jail.
It also hinted at health problems, stating he "is not by any means a well man; his current health is stable".
- The Dominion Post
What do you make of the proposed conference centre/hotel for Wellington?Related story: Convention centre to get OK