Board denies perpetrator of violent attack parole

A man convicted of attempted murder over a "frenzied" attack in a Wanaka shop has been declined parole.

Ahu Stanley Taylor (44) was jailed for 10 years eight months — a sentence which was unsuccessfully appealed — following the May 2015 assault on Kahu Vincent which took place at a Night ’n Day convenience store.

The victim was in an induced coma for 12 days with significant swelling and bleeding to the brain, followed by three weeks in the hospital’s critical care unit with traumatic brain injury and related complications.

The effects continued for years after the incident. Mr Vincent suffered fatigue and social anxiety.

Taylor came before the Parole Board for the first time this month with a proposal for early release to a Gisborne home.

His counsel, Michael Starling, said there would be "a very high level of whanau support" at the address.

But panel convener Martha Coleman said it was important Taylor fully understood the reasons behind his behaviour before he was released.

At the hearing, the prisoner was unable to proffer any motive for the attack.

While it was suggested Taylor could continue one-on-one counselling in the community rather than engage in programmes behind bars, the Parole Board disagreed.

"Until Mr Taylor completes that treatment in prison the board cannot be satisfied that his risk is no longer undue," Ms Coleman said.

While the man was unable to explain his actions to the board, he had an explanation for police when he was arrested.

"Well, he was a bit of a tough guy, I think we’ll call it self-defence. Nearly dead is nearly dead. He was a smart arse," he said.

Taylor and Leon Rowles launched the relentless attack on Mr Vincent, knocking him to the floor.

For more than a minute and a-half, both assailants stomped on his face and head as he lay motionless on the floor.

Taylor delivered 23 single-foot stomps to Mr Vincent’s head and on three occasions placed his hands on a shop bench either side of him and lifted himself up so as to be able to use both feet at the same time.

In total, about 81 deliberate blows were inflicted.

The focus of Taylor’s therapy behind bars was his violent upbringing and unresolved grief issues, the board heard.

"He said that he is trying to improve his communication skills so that he is able to let others in. He said that his trust in others has been totally destroyed by what has happened in the past," Ms Coleman said.

"Mr Taylor told the board that he has known that he has needed help for a long time but until now he has not been smart enough to accept the help he needs."

The Parole Board advised he complete the drug treatment programme and the nine-month special treatment unit rehabilitation programme before he is next seen in November 2021.

"Mr Taylor’s offending was very serious indeed and is not the only instance of violence in his history ... The attack on his victim was frenzied and continued for some time," Ms Coleman said.

Rowles was jailed for seven years, one month for his role and was granted parole in December 2018.

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