Macdonald up for parole

December 10th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Kathryn Powley at NZ Herald reports:

faces his first Parole Board hearing at Manawatu Prison on Tuesday.

Macdonald is serving a five-year sentence for arson, vandalism and killing deer and calves on neighbouring Feilding farms.

Much of his time in prison was served while on remand and during his trial for the July 2010 murder of his wife’s brother, Scott Guy. In July, he was found not guilty of Guy’s murder.

Macdonald has served a third of his sentence, meaning he is eligible for parole, but it would be very unusual for parole to be granted at a prisoner’s first hearing.

Personally I think the fact that Macdonald appears to have sociopath tendencies is a pretty good reason not to give him parole!

The same story also reports:

Meanwhile, a prisoner has complained about the way Macdonald’s lawyer handled a previous case.

Law Society president Jonathan Temm told the Herald on Sunday a prisoner on a long term of imprisonment for a “whole range of very serious sexual offences” was at the heart of the report. The prisoner is understood to be in Rimutaka.

“He has made a complaint against Mr King’s conduct as his trial counsel and he is represented by a relatively senior member of the profession on the appeal.”

Temm would not comment on the merits of the appeal, but noted some people convicted of serious offending often complained about their lawyer.

“I’m not sure whether complaints against Mr King will resonate with a result that [the prisoner] will get a new trial, but who knows? These things do happen.”

The prisoner’s complaint also claimed impropriety around a legal aid claim.

Temm said there was no complaint before the Law Society about King and he believed the complaint had been to the Ministry of Justice.

However, a ministry spokesman would not comment, citing an order from Coroner Wallace Bain suppressing details around King’s death.

Again this substantiates the story broken a month ago by Truth. They have left out the fact that a call was made by the Dominion Post to the King family about the legal aid allegations shortly before his death.

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19 Responses to “Macdonald up for parole”

  1. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    DPF….
    You say, among other things… ” McDonald appears to have sociopath tendencies “.

    And when did you get your Phud in Pyschology?

    Qualified PShrinks will have been all over him from when pre-sentence reports were prepared for the Court. If they thought he had sociopathic tendencies that would have emerged at sentencing.

    Until the Board goes thru the scheduled process (McDonald does not apply for parole. His appearance is simply scheduled by the Board) he has no choice. but to appear before the Board He has no say in the matter. Let it be, David!

    [DPF: My totally unscientific opinion is based on his killing of animals in the way he did, and obsession with revenge for minor slights]

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  2. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Macdonald has served a third of his sentence, meaning he is eligible for parole

    FFS, nothing much changes…

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  3. muggins (3,788 comments) says:

    Qualified “PShrinks”. I love it. How many times have I read that qualified pyscholigists havn’t been able to detect sociopathic tendencies in a people who been convicted of murder?
    Not that Macdonald was convicted of murder ,he was found not guilty,and rightly so,in my opinion. The Crown were not able to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
    But I have to say I have my doubts about a burglar arriving at the Guy farmhouse with the intention of stealing those puppies at the same time as Scott Guy was getting up to check those cows.
    And then that same burglar,instead of hightailing it down the road when he saw Scott Guy coming out and getting in his vehicle ,decides to wait at the gate and shoot him twice with a shotgun that he just happened to have in his car.
    And that same burglar happened to be wearing a pair of dive boots similar to the pair that Macdonald was known to wear.
    I wonder how many burglars wear dive boots.

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  4. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    And that same burglar happened to be wearing a pair of dive boots similar to the pair that Macdonald was known to wear.

    Boots which McDonald had thrown out a couple of years before the murder and similar in the sense that the tread of the boots that McDonald had and the tread left by the murderer’s boots were completely different? If that is your standard for implying actual guilt, then you shouldn’t be on anyone’s jury.

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  5. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Joke. Our justice system is seriously flawed.

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  6. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    IMO the main reason prisoners complain about their trial lawyers is to get a second bite at the legal cherry. Often the accused will not take the stand and therefore is not exposed to cross-examination by the prosecutor. The accused facing many years in jail then thinks he could have convinced a jury not to convict if he took the stand, so accuses the trial lawyer of putting him crook by recommending he does not take the stand. So he wants a re-trial on the basis of lawyer incompetence. While the Court of Appeal will consider this, it is extremely rare that it will uphold an incompetence claim justifying a re-trial. So claims of lawyer incompetence should be taken with a grain of salt – it is merely ‘Plan B’ on the prisoner’s part.

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  7. thedavincimode (6,803 comments) says:

    metcalph

    the tread left by the murderer’s boots were completely different

    A minor detail surely. They were still dive boots.

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  8. muggins (3,788 comments) says:

    metcalph,
    If you are going to try and discuss something with me please make sure you do your homework first.
    First of all Macdonald is spelt Macdonald,not McDonald.
    Secondly,Macdonald did not throw out those dive boots. His wife said she thought she put one of those boots on the trailer,but she couldn’t remember whether she did or not.
    And even if she did what was to stop Macdonald seeing it there and taking it off?
    Thirdly,we don’t know what the tread on Macdonald’s boots was like. Greg King was able to show the jury that the tread left by those boots meant that they were probably a larger size than the Crown said would have fitted Macdonald.
    You weren’t on the Bain retrial jury,by any chance?

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  9. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Mcdonald / Macdonald / MacDonald…. now where have I heard that name before? :D

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  10. muggins (3,788 comments) says:

    Elaycee,there is a fourth spelling …. McDonald.
    So you have Mc followed by a large D
    Mc followed by a small d
    Mac,followed by a large D and
    Mac,followed by a small d as in Ewan Macdonald.
    Just thought you might like to know.

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  11. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    DPF: I’m afraid I am going to have to disagree with you again…twice in a few days. Nothing personal old boy…

    Your reference to the way MacDonald killed the calves simply reflects what an urban society we have become. Out here in the country, a blow to the head with a ball peen hammer is apparently the standard method of dispatching bobby calves – one of a hundred rural practices that are more than a little distasteful to the urban dweller. Like shooting dogs who have had their day, rather than a long drive to the vet for the needle. The fact that they were someone else’s calves is of course an entirely separate issue.

    Socipathic? A person who overreacts to relatively minor slights perhaps…a vindicative rather nasty chap? Probably….none of that necessarily makes him a murderer. Has any read the North & South story which apparently makes a pretty convincing case that it could not have been MacDonald?

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  12. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    muggins asks:

    How many times have I read that qualified pyscholigists havn’t been able to detect sociopathic tendencies in a people who been convicted of murder?

    That might be because not all murderers are sociopaths, and not all sociopaths are murderers. The two sets definitely intersect, with a greater overlap of “murderers who are sociopaths” than the reverse, but murder can also be motivated by jealousy, triggered by years of abuse, even supplied on a fee-for-service basis, or any number of other causes.

    Which is why many legal systems opt to have degrees of murder, and even of lesser violent crimes such as armed robbery…

    But the point I guess you were making is that psychologists haven’t been able to predict, with total accuracy, the likelihood of reoffending and, as a result, some people released have reoffended. That’s true, but statistically they’re right more often than they’re wrong – we just don’t hear about the people who successfully complete their parole. And in any case, even someone labelled a dangerous sociopath by the experts will at some point reach the end of their sentence (other than the handful given life) and be released anyway.

    The alternative is to take a risk-averse approach and imprison forever anyone convicted of a violent offence after their first conviction, even if that offence is cruelty to animals (which I personally find abhorrent, David Garrett’s point about urban sensitivities notwithstanding) or was, say, a crime of passion unlikely to ever be repeated.

    Psychological assessment, while invariably not 100% accurate – especially as sociopaths and psychopaths by their very natures are exceptionally good at deceit and usually very intelligent – is nonetheless, like the old saying about democracy, the worst system we have except all the others that have been tried.

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  13. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    @muggins: Well, I never…. Thanks for that. :D

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  14. muggins (3,788 comments) says:

    Rex,ok,I accept what you say.
    Phychologist Paul Mullen said the reason why David Bain faced the jury [at the first trial]was becaused that sanitised everything,minimising the family conflict and his own difficulties within it.
    Mullen said he didn’t want the jurors to understand how angry and distressed he was because if they understood that ,they would understand why he killed them.
    I wonder what Mullen would say now that David Bain has been found not guilty?
    I guess what I am trying to say is that physhologists sometimes seem to want to give us an answer when they don’t really know the answer,although I believe so far as Paul Mullen is concerned he was pretty much on the money re David Bain .
    Sorry about referring to David Bain ,it’s just that I have been researching the case for long I find it hard not to refer to it.
    Maybe I need to see a psychologist.

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  15. Chi Hsu (101 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,026) Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Your reference to the way MacDonald killed the calves simply reflects what an urban society we have become. Out here in the country, a blow to the head with a ball peen hammer is apparently the standard method of dispatching bobby calves – one of a hundred rural practices that are more than a little distasteful to the urban dweller. Like shooting dogs who have had their day, rather than a long drive to the vet for the needle. The fact that they were someone else’s calves is of course an entirely separate issue.

    The reason it is distasteful is because it is unnecessary. These calves did not need to be killed, nor would it have been likely that MacDonald’s intention in attacking them was to take consideration of and minimise their pain. The fact that you find it appropriate to defend him makes me question whether you know when it is and isn’t the right time to be standing up for certain parties. Someone who may have technically used the correct rural farming method of disposing of an animal does not necessarily deserve people giving them a good reference when the killing was carried out for the purposes of revenge.

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  16. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    The guy’s a psychopath. He should have been locked up for good. Stick him in a cell with Bain, and see who comes out alive.

    Muggins:

    But I have to say I have my doubts about a burglar arriving at the Guy farmhouse with the intention of stealing those puppies at the same time as Scott Guy was getting up to check those cows.
    And then that same burglar,instead of hightailing it down the road when he saw Scott Guy coming out and getting in his vehicle ,decides to wait at the gate and shoot him twice with a shotgun that he just happened to have in his car.
    And that same burglar happened to be wearing a pair of dive boots similar to the pair that Macdonald was known to wear.
    I wonder how many burglars wear dive boots.

    Yet you still think he deserved a “not guilty”? If the judge and jury had any common sense, then your scenario would be regarded as unreasonable. So there would not have been reasonable doubt to get him off the hook.

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  17. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The Parole Board of course does not need to concern itself with speculation about other crimes Macdonald may or may not have committed. He was convicted and sentenced. He has served the minimum period necessary to be considered for parole. All the Parole Board needs to concerns itself with is the risk he may pose to the community. I would suggest he will be released immediately after the hearing.

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  18. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Chi: You are not very bright are you…There is a reason I have never used my skills to defend accused criminals…

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  19. muggins (3,788 comments) says:

    tristamb
    Look,I reckon Macdonald is guilty,but I believe the jury got it right so far as he is concerned.
    The Crown were not able to prove what weapon was used.
    The dive boot prints appeared to be too large .
    Macdonald couldn’t be placed at the scene.
    There was really not enough evidence to convict Macdonald,in my opinion.
    You mention Bain. I believe in that trial[retrial] the jury got it wrong. There was certainly enough evidence to convict David Bain. But not Macdonald.
    But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that burglar to come forward and confess because I don’t reckon there was any burglar.

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