Boy basher is set to be re­leased

Manawatu Standard - - NEWS - JONO GALUSZKA

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.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON/STUFF

Massey Univer­sity vice-chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Jan Thomas

PHOTO: FAITH SUTHER­LAND/STUFF

Peter Ross Mo­ran is set to be re­leased.

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