Friday, December 14, 2012

Why Ewen Macdonald was denied parole

The Parole Board is obviously conscious of public interest in its deliberations into the application for parole by Ewen Macdonald. So the details of its meeting with Macdonald earlier in the week have been released; 3 News reports:

The Parole Board has released its full report on why they denied Feilding criminal Ewen Macdonald early release.
Macdonald, who met with the board on Tuesday, was found to pose an undue risk to the community and has “much to do” before he’s ready for release.
The board describes Macdonald as “displaying narcisstic traits” and says he still hasn’t accepted that his crimes were wrong, instead blaming co-offender Callum Boe.
Macdonald was sentenced to five years prison for six crimes against members of his local community, including his late brother-in-law Scott Guy.
He will be required to see a psychologist for counselling and the board wants to see a forensic psychiatric report before they see him again.
And the board's deliberations give perhaps the best insight into Ewen Macdonald that anyone has as yet; read on:
The report says he was kept in jail because:
  • A psychological report described him as “displaying narcissistic traits”
  • He can over-value his self worth
  • He’s still inclined to “diminish” his responsibility for the crimes, blaming Boe
  • He described his actions as “stupid’ rather than “wrong”
  • Macdonald showed a “limited grasp” and had a “limited range” of moral principles
  • He presented a narrow emotional range
  • He needs intensive one-on-one counselling
The board’s conclusion was that Macdonald does not meet the required statutory test for release without “significant intervention and treatment”.
"We are not satisfied that presently, Macdonald would not pose an undue risk to the community or any person in it whom he should feel umbrage."
The report does, however, say Macdonald is a “model prisoner".

Of particular concern is that Macdonald regards his offending, including the killing of animals as "stupid" rather than wrong. We're not versed in the dark arts of psychology or psychiatry, but if a bloke doesn't see anything wrong with smashing animals' heads with a hammer, and destroying the property of those who upset him, then Houston, we have a problem. The Parole Board is quite right to have concerns for him posing "an undue risk to the community".
Macdonald's victims will take some comfort from the fact that he will be spending the best part of another year in prison where he has been since his arrest for Scott Guy's murder in April 2011. By the time he comes up before the Parole Board again he will have served over half of his five year sentence; here's hoping that another year at Her Majesty's pleasure will have a profound change on Ewen Macdonald, especially his sense of right and wrong.

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