A Dunedin man who committed two armed robberies with his mum has been released on parole despite being deemed to have a high risk of reoffending.

Joshua Karl Smith, 30, was jailed for five years in July last year. He was granted early release at the first opportunity when he appeared before the Parole Board last month.

While Probation assessed Smith as being at high risk of harming others and committing further crimes, panel convenor Judge David Mather was satisfied he could be safely released on to a rehabilitation programme.

"On balance ... we have reached the view that risk issues can be adequately addressed if he is released now on a range of special conditions," he said.


Smith left Otago Corrections Facility last week to enter the programme, which would address both violence and addiction issues.

His mother, Joanne Francis Smith, was sentenced to six years and three months' imprisonment for her role in three heists, which came five months apart in 2017.

The first robbery the mother and son committed together took place in July at The Fitz sports bar in Christchurch. In the second incident, they targeted the Law Courts Hotel in Dunedin.

Smith had a significant criminal history, stretching back 13 years, that included convictions for driving, breaching sentences and sexual offending against a young person.

Smith has a number of conditions to his parole including submitting to electronic monitoring and abiding by a 9.30pm to 6.45am curfew.