A man who caused a toddler lifelong brain damage, turning his brain into “watery mush”, remains untreated for his offending because he still denies doing anything wrong.
The Parole Board also has concerns about his plan upon release from prison, as he wants to live near his victim.
Peter Ross Moran will serve his full term of three years and six months for wounding the toddler with reckless disregard, after the board declined him parole in April.
It took two trials to find Moran guilty of lashing out at his partner’s 2-year-old son on May 16, 2011.
* Bracing for son’s funeral
* Child basher continues to deny causing boy’s brain to become ‘watery mush’
* Stepfather denies any part in toddler’s severe brain injuries
Moran called paramedics to the house he shared with the boy’s mother, Renee Robinson.
He told police he found the boy naked, cold and unresponsive on the floor.
The boy was taken to Palmerston North Hospital before being flown to Starship children’s hospital in Auckland, where he had emergency surgery on his head.
Moran’s lawyer argued the injuries, which left the boy paralysed on his right side and suffering seizures multiple times a day, were either an accident, or caused by Robinson.
But the jury decided Moran caused a vein in the boy’s brain to tear, which led to his brain swelling so much that half of it ended up dying.
At trial, paediatric radiologist Russell Metcalfe said that half of the brain turned into “watery mush” before being reabsorbed.
The boy suffered catastrophic injuries as a result, including paralysis of his right side, and is lucky to be alive.
Police initially thought they would be investigating a homicide, and Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk told the court at Moran’s sentencing in 2014 the efforts of medical professionals and fast response of paramedics were the only things that stopped Moran facing manslaughter or murder charges.
Moran has been declined an early release after every appearance before the Parole Board since he became eligible in July 2015 – a trend that did not change after his latest appearance.
In its decision, the board said Moran and his family strongly believed he was innocent.
That had prevented him doing any courses in prison to address why he offended. He had been booked in for up to eight psychological counselling sessions, but only did one half-hour session because of his denials.
The board also found he had started exhibiting negative behaviour towards Corrections staff, although he had improved recently.
He was described as making “no positive representation” when he appeared before the board.
“He was expecting to have parole declined,” the board said.
“Mr Moran’s mood was perhaps best described as surly, that is perhaps consistent with his denial and not wanting to be in prison at all.
“The board understands that. However, the board can only proceed on the basis that Mr Moran is a convicted prisoner in relation to a serious violent offence.”
Moran has to be released when his sentence ends on November 8, but the board wants him to look at his release plan before then.
He wants to live at an address very near his victim – something the board said he needed to think about.
The victim’s family told the board they worried about Moran being near any children, including the victim.
The board wants detailed advice from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children about Moran’s proposed release address, especially because it is close to where the boy lives.
Moran will be seen by the Parole Board by the end of September to have release conditions imposed.