Murderer pleads good behaviour

2011-02-10 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG man Cuan McKinley (29), who is serving a 15-year jail term for strangling his girlfriend Jenny Kinghorn (20) in 2001, alleges that, despite his good behaviour in prison, he was not considered for parole when he legally ought to have been.

McKinley, who argued in court yesterday that the parole board should reconsider his case, told Judge Themba Sishi that Correctional Services failed to award him credits for good behaviour and programmes he had participated in.

He alleges that, according to legislation applicable to him, because he was sentenced prior to 2004, he ought to have been considered for parole after serving a third of his jail term.

In fact, he had served half his sentence before he was called before a parole board for the first time.

On September 23, 2009, the parole board recommended he undergo a psychological programme for anger management and set a date for another hearing this September.

McKinley questioned this finding, particularly as reports before the board noted among other things that he was “well behaved and respects fellow officials and inmates”.

The reports also note that he was involved in teaching in prison, enjoys good support from his mother and that he has undergone a social workers’ programme where “conflict management and aggression” were addressed.

Three other convicts, Lwazi Mzobe, Sibusiso Mzizi and Thembokuhle Sikakane, are joint applicants in the case and said their experiences with the parole board are similar to McKinley’s.

Mzobe said yesterday he is continuing with the application even though he has since been released.

Advocate Shameela Jasat, on behalf of Correctional Services, said parole is not a right but a privilege.

She said the department has the right to discretion when considering parole, which takes into account factors such as the severity of crimes committed.

In McKinley’s case it was noted he had strangled his girlfriend, placed her body in a bakkie and then drove around with the corpse.

The vice chairperson of the Ncome parole board, Wilfred Jele, said in an affidavit that the board’s view is that McKinley has not received adequate treatment to address his “impulsive, anger-driven conduct” and remains a danger to society.

It accordingly found that McKinley must undergo a clinical psychologist’s programme in order to be rehabilitated, and approved a profile date for another hearing.

Judgment was reserved.

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