Repeat offender denied parole

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An armed robber who was paroled and then went on a crime spree which included grabbing a police officer’s genitals, will be in prison for at least another six months.

Shelley Lee Williams (43) was serving five years’ imprisonment for a spate of heists in Dunedin — involving a jeweller, antiques store and dairy — when she was released on parole in August last year.

However, her freedom lasted only weeks.

On October 11, Williams drove to Dunedin from Oamaru and went on a drunken crime blitz around the city.

First she stole more than 30 items from a department store, then went to a hotel claiming to have a booking.

When her bank cards failed, she smashed a donation box and delivered a racist rant before speeding off in her BMW, smashing a car park barrier arm.

The spree came to an end when Williams tried to steal wine and food from a central Dunedin supermarket and dislocated a staff member’s finger in her bid to escape.

While being processed by police, she squeezed an officer’s genitals and later explained it must have been “because the constable was cute”.

The rampage put Williams back behind bars, but when she was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court, no time was added to the prison term she was currently serving for the aggravated robberies.

A judge imposed 12 months’ imprisonment but made it concurrent (to be served at the same time as the other sentence).

Williams came before the Parole Board last month and did not find the lenience of her previous appearance.

Panel convener Kathryn Snook noted the prisoner had previously been assessed as a low-moderate risk of re-offending. That risk was now classed as high.

Williams was a high-security inmate at Christchurch Women’s Prison and had incurred three misconducts since being back inside — the latest of which was for “passing unauthorised items”.

“While [counselling] is said to be possible in the community, it is our view that Ms Williams requires further treatment in prison before we could be satisfied that she no longer poses an undue risk to the safety of the community for the period remaining on her sentence,” Ms Snook said.

The problem, the board said, was that no courses were being run in prison while the Covid-19 lockdown was in place.

Williams will next come before the Parole Board in October.