Offender claims no memories of abuse

Basil Raymond Heazlewood
Basil Raymond Heazlewood
A man who sexually abused five children over 24 years still claims not to remember the offending, despite sitting down with one of his victims.

Basil Raymond Heazlewood (79) is 17 months from serving the totality of a seven-and-a-half-year prison term, and was again declined parole when he appeared before the board in February, a new report revealed.

Panel convener Tania Williams Blyth said the prisoner met one of his victims last year for a restorative-justice conference.

The woman told the Parole Board she found the meeting "empowering" and Heazlewood also said it was beneficial.

It did not, however, jog his memory of over nearly a quarter of a century of sexual abuse.

"He maintains that he does not recall his offending," Ms Williams Blyth said.

"He took their word for it. He took what they said at face value."

A psychologist, who saw Heazlewood in 2018, said it was implausible that the man would not be able to remember what he did, given his level of cognitive functioning and his recall of other matters.

The prisoner was described as "compliant and well-manned" while behind bars, but the board noted he was also untreated.

"The board encourages Mr Heazlewood to develop a safety plan and work on his release proposal.

‘‘Mr Heazlewood should also give some thought to being released to places other than Dunedin and South Canterbury," Ms Williams Blyth said.

Heazlewood will next come before the Parole Board in August.

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