Hard work results in release

A Dunedin rapist has been released on parole with almost four years of his sentence remaining.

The Parole Board was "impressed" with Stevie Ryan Walker (27) when it saw him last month, documents showed.

"We recognise that he has worked hard," panel convener Martha Coleman said.

"He has developed a good support network and has a good release plan. He has also worked hard on himself to make the changes that he needs to in order to avoid offending in this way or in any other way again in the future."

Walker was jailed for eight and a-half years in 2015, after being found guilty of rape and sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

The man’s first victim was an Invercargill woman whom he abused in March 2014, following a night of drinking with friends.

He offered the teen his bed as she was feeling unwell but later joined her when she was asleep.

Just a few months later, Walker was allowed to sleep on the couch of the second victim while she slept in her own bed.

However, she woke several hours later to find her bedclothes had been removed and the man was lying beside her.

At a previous parole hearing, the board expressed concern the prisoner had "framed his offending in the context of his consumption of alcohol".

Walker accepted he had entitlement issues and a distorted view of intimacy but only made the concessions when pressed.

Ms Coleman said since then, the man had clearly devoted himself to reform.

"Mr Walker acknowledges that managing his low self-esteem and his mental health will be important challenges for himself on release. His strategy to ensure a good life balance is through exercise and through continuation of hobbies," she said.

He told the board he had now sworn off alcohol, and said he intended to start interacting only with a relatively small group of supporters and to gradually develop other friends, all the time bearing in mind his need to maintain "healthy friendships".

The board noted Walker had been living in Otago Corrections Facility’s Self Care villas and was a designated shopper for the unit.

The sex offender had made numerous trips outside the wire, including one without electronic monitoring and had been working in external grounds for five months.

Walker’s sentence end date is March 2024.

His parole conditions included. —

- To live at an address approved by Probation.

- To comply with tenancy agreement at accommodation.

- To abide by a 10pm-6am curfew for the first three months of release.

- To attend a psychological assessment and any prescribed treatment.

- To attend an alcohol and drug assessment and any prescribed treatment.

- Not to possess alcohol or non-prescription drugs.

- To disclose details of intimate relationships to Probation.

- Not to contact any victim of offending.

- To attend a reintegration meeting within a month of release.

- To attend a hearing with the Parole Board in December.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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