Pack rape victim adamant Shipton still risk

A woman who was pack-raped nearly 20 years ago by former police officer Brad Shipton is adamant he remains a risk to the community and should not be set free.

The Parole Board yesterday decided to release Shipton from prison, three years into the 8-1/2 year sentence he was given for his part in the 1989 pack rape in Mt Maunganui.

Shipton first applied for parole in May, but was turned down.

Although Shipton still denies his involvement, the Parole Board said that was not a barrier to his release.

The hearing, held last month, was presented with two psychological assessments which put Shipton at low risk of further offending.

His victim, who has name suppression, does not agree.

"He has refused to get any kind of help because he won't admit the offence, so we have got an untreated rapist about to be set free into your community," she told Radio New Zealand.

She said she did not blame the Parole Board for its decision but said the law that allowed Shipton's release should be changed.

Her lawyer had argued that Shipton should have served at least two thirds of his sentence under the law prior to 2005, when the offence happened.

But the board said the fact was the trial took place in 2005 and he was eligible for release.

Shipton will remain on parole until the end of his sentence in 2014.

He must live at a certain address and take counselling. He cannot communicate or associate with his co-offenders or the victim.

Shipton received the longest sentence of the three offenders.

One of the co-accused, Peter McNamara, was released in January after serving one third of a seven-year sentence while another former police officer, Bob Schollum, was denied parole in April and remains in prison.

- NZPA

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