McKinley: high court refuses earlier parole hearing

2011-08-15 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg high court recently refused an application to order the authorities to bring forward the parole hearing of a local man, Cuan McKinley (29), who is in custody for the murder of his girlfriend, Jenny Kinghorn (20) in 2001, and three of his co-prisoners at Ncome prison.

Judge Themba Sishi found in a reserved judgment that there was no evidence that the authorities did not apply their discretion properly, and said there were clearly reasons why the prisoners had been given further profiles when they would be considered again for parole.

In McKinley’s case, the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board had been of the view that McKinley was to undergo a progamme to address his “impulsive temper” so that he did not remain a danger to society. He is due to be considered for parole again next month.

Judge Sishi agreed in the judgment that McKinley and the other prisoners — Lwazi Mzobe, Sibusiso Mzizi and Thembokuhle Sikakane — were not considered for parole after completing a third of their sentences when they first qualified for parole, and that they were not awarded credits to which they would be entitled in terms of the relevant legislation.

He said this was “unfortunate”, but said each of them was considered for placement on parole after serving half their sentences.

The judge added that this point had only been raised with the court during legal argument and was not included in the application papers.

He found that there was nothing to show that (at the time of the parole hearing) the parole authorities had acted in bad faith or that they did not apply the relevant law and applicable policies when deciding to give each of the prisoners a further profile date.

When the case was argued in February, McKinley complained that he had not received the credits due to him for good behaviour and for attending various programmes during his prison term.

He questioned why the chairperson of the Ncome parole board had set a further profile date for him, as he said reports before the board had noted among other things that he was “well behaved and respects fellow officials and inmates”, stated that he was involved in teaching in prison, had a good support system in his mother and that he had undergone a social workers programme where “conflict management and aggression” were addressed.

McKinley was convicted and sentenced on August 7, 2002 to undergo 15 years imprisonment for murder, theft and possession of a firearm.

He subsequently received a six month remission of sentence.

He was found guilty by Judge Jan Hugo of strangling Kinghorn during an argument at her mother’s home on May 31,2001. Afterwards he drove around with her body in the back of his bakkie, visiting nightclubs.

At his trial he testified he had been drunk and could not recall killing Kinghorn with whom he had a stormy “on and off” relationship.

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