Parole Board should never have released Gately

Stuff reports:

A sex offender on the run after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet has been caught.

Nigel Robert Gately, 48, went missing from the Salisbury St Foundation, a residential facility for prison parolees in St Albans, Christchurch, on Tuesday.

Police arrested him in Nelson on Wednesday night following a manhunt across the upper South Island. It is understood he was caught after a sighting of his car – a purple 2004 Ford Falcon.

Gately is the latest of dozens of criminals to flee after removing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

He attacked two women the last time he was paroled and police launched a wide-ranging search when he was discovered missing.

He will now be recalled to prison.

Gately grew up in Culverden, North Canterbury, and has convictions for rape, assault with intent to commit rape and abduction for sex. He was released on parole in May last year.

At the time, the Parole Board said he was assessed as a “high risk” of sexual offending, but felt he could be managed with strict conditions, including electronic monitoring.

Well done NZ Police for catching him but why did the Parole Board give him parole when their own advice was he had a high risk of sexual offending? Parole is for low to medium risk, not high risk.

Even worse Gately had a sentence of preventive detention, so never had to be released. The Parole Board couldn’t justify parole by saying he would have eventually been released so better to do it with conditions.

His criminal record is:

  • 1994 raped a Christchurch woman, got eight years jail
  • 2000 attempted rape of a Dunedin woman two months after release
  • 2001 attempted rape and abduction in Pukerua Bay

He was sentenced to preventive detention in 2001.  Let’s hope the Parole Board doesn’t give him a 5th chance and he remains in prison until he is too old to be a risk to anyone.

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