The case of a child sex offender convicted for breaching his GPS-tracking conditions 12 times has prompted calls for an urgent review of the legal system.

Darren Albert Jolly, 50, has a prolific 30-year criminal history that includes more than 110 convictions for sex with underage girls, indecent sex acts, fraud, theft, assault and dangerous driving.

The high-risk sexual predator was made subject to a 10-year Extended Supervision Order (ESO) under the Parole Act at Hamilton District Court in April 2011. The order expires in 2023.

However, in the past four years, Jolly, whose 13 special release conditions ban him from computers and going near schools, parks and playgrounds, has breached the order 12 times.


His latest breach came after he was released from prison last December to a Dunedin address under 24/7 electronic monitoring.

A Community Probation Service report obtained by NZME News Service stated that Jolly admitted deliberately cutting off his GPS monitoring bracelet and leaving Dunedin without permission.

"In explanation, Mr Jolly stated that he was intending to travel to Nelson to see his family before heading to Auckland," the report said.

When Jolly was sentenced at Christchurch District Court on October 1, Corrections told Judge Gary MacAskill that he had breached his ESO on 11 previous occasions.

"Given his over 30 year offending history, both sexual and dishonesty, he is considered to be at very high risk of re-offending and high risk of harm to potential victims," said a Corrections report.

A probation officer also told the court that Jolly was deemed a "risk to the community" and recommended another jail term.

Judge MacAskill sentenced him to 12 months' imprisonment.

Labour's justice spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern was "shocked" by the Jolly case.

She called on Justice Minister Amy Adams to establish whether an ESO review is required.

She questioned why preventive detention or a Public Protection Order (PPO), which is designed to detain high risk re-offenders in a secure facility, couldn't be looked at.

"Twelve breaches are twelve red flags and should demonstrate that perhaps something is wrong with the system," she said.

Survivor advocate Ruth Money wants an immediate review to close the "loophole".
"Given that people can breach and just be regurgitated by the system, there is clearly a huge systematic flaw," she said.

Continually releasing Jolly under the same conditions appears an "exercise in futility", experienced defence lawyer Nigel Hampton QC said in supporting a systemic review.

"You don't want it to happen, of course, but short of him committing another serious offence, it seems he will keep on doing it."

The criminal justice regime "only has a few tools in its armoury" and is not equipped to deal with serial breachers, said Professor Chris Gallavin, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University.

"Sending him back to prison is the obvious result."

ESOs are granted by the court on application from Corrections to monitor and manage the long-term risk posed by high risk sex offenders or very high risk violent offenders.

They came under the spotlight earlier this year when it was revealed that Tony Robertson, convicted of murdering Auckland mother-of-three Blessie Gotingco, had been subject to an ESO after spending eight years in prison for abducting and indecently assaulting a 5-year-old girl in Tauranga.

Ms Money said Jolly's serial breaching shows that his behaviour is escalating, making him a "clear contender" for a PPO.

However, the threshold for a PPO to be granted is even higher than that of an ESO.

And there is yet to be a PPO application made in New Zealand, Corrections confirmed last week.

Person-to-person monitoring cannot lawfully be imposed on Jolly by a judge, Corrections said, neither does he meet the threshold for person-to-person monitoring imposed by the New Zealand Parole Board.

Corrections also points out that it is responsible for managing sentences and orders imposed by the courts and Parole Board.

"While we provide information and recommendations to judges to enable them to make informed sentencing decisions, we do not determine what those sentences are or whether they are appropriate," said acting regional commissioner Chris O'Brien-Smith.

Over the last four years, Corrections has applied to the Parole Board to "strengthen and tighten" Jolly's release conditions.

"Prior to Mr Jolly's release from prison, a comprehensive strategy was developed by Corrections, Police, the Ministry of Social Development and others," Ms O'Brien-Smith said.

"The aim of the strategy was to maintain the safety of the community by ensuring that the systems and supports were in place for Mr Jolly to re-engage with the order and promote his compliance with the special conditions.

"We will continue to intensively manage Mr Jolly's adherence to the conditions of his Extended Supervision Order and hold him to account for any non-compliance with these conditions, including further charges being laid against him in court if necessary."

A Government inquiry into the release of Robertson is "currently considering issues relating to the management and supervision of people released from prison more generally".

"We will consider the recommendations of that inquiry in due course," said a spokesman for Justice Minister Amy Adams.

When a reporter visited his Dunedin flat last week, Jolly answered the door and said: "How did you find me?"

Asked about his multiple ESO breaches, he refused to comment.

"This is a whole new start for me."