Boy basher is set to be released
A man who hit a child so hard the boy’s brain turned into ‘‘watery mush’’ remains an undue risk on the eve of his release from prison.
But despite that risk, Peter Ross Moran will still be able to associate with children, though only when approved adults are present.
Moran, 27, will be released from prison in November after serving his entire term of three years and six months for wounding with reckless disregard.
Moran has always denied the offending, committed against a toddler in Palmerston North on May 16, 2011.
The child is the son of Moran’s ex-partner Renee Robinson, and the trio lived together at the time.
He lashed out at the boy while Robinson was asleep in her bed, causing a vein to tear in his brain and severe brain injuries.
Police initially investigated the case as a homicide, such was the boy’s chances of survival.
At Moran’s trial, a paediatric radiologist said the boy’s brain swelled so much that more than half of it died and turned into ‘‘watery mush’’ before being reabsorbed.
The boy was left with lifelong injuries and cognitive issues.
Moran’s defence was either Robinson hit her son, or he fell and hit his head accidentally.
That stance did not change during his time behind bars, with multiple Parole Board hearing reports noting he still denied his offending and was supported by his family in this belief.
His latest appearance before the board took place this month, but not before the board met with his victim’s grandparents.
They told the board they opposed Moran being released and having contact with children.
Moran had made some improvement since his last board hearing in April. The board noted
‘‘We have not been able to satisfy ourself that risk is other than undue, and we are unable to direct release on parole.’’ New Zealand Parole Board
he had no adequate release proposal at the time and was in a ‘‘surly mood’’.
This time, Moran had a safety plan for his release – something the board said was ‘‘a positive matter’’.
But the board was not prepared to grant him an early release, even with only two months of his sentence left.
‘‘We have not been able to satisfy ourself that risk is other than undue, and we are unable to direct release on parole.’’
Since Moran’s sentence ends on November 8, the board decided to impose release conditions.
While banned from associating with his victim, he is able to associate with children under 16 as long as he is with someone older than 20 who has been approved by a probation officer.
Massey University vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas
Peter Ross Moran is set to be released.