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Sex offender and killer Basil Mist denied Supreme Court bid to remove extended supervision order

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Basil Mist went to jail for manslaughter and sexual offences against five girls when he was 21 years old. Photo / Supplied

This article discusses sexual offending and manslaughter and may be distressing for some readers.

A man who killed his teenage girlfriend and sexually offended against five other girls is still considered a high risk after his 2022 release from 20 years in prison.

Basil Steven Marshall Mist, now 42, was sent to jail when he was just 21 years old.

He spent two decades in prison but received no treatment for his sexual offending propensity before leaving prison in December 2022.

Now he has been blocked from going to the Supreme Court to try to get an extended supervision order (ESO) removed.

An ESO can be imposed for up to 10 years by the courts to allow probation officers to manage a high-risk sex offender or a very high-risk violent offender who returns to the community from prison.

A 10-year ESO was imposed on Mist in 2022 – he has since tried and failed twice to have it removed.

Mist was tried by a jury for manslaughter and sexual offending against five girls aged between seven and 15. The charges included rape and sexual conduct with a young person.

The courts were told at the time that Mist sometimes took steps to isolate victims, inviting them into his house, supplying them with alcohol and drugs and locking them in a room. One girl had a knife held to her throat.

The manslaughter charge related to the death of Mist’s 17-year-old girlfriend Barbara Miller, whose body was found in a house in Highfield, Palmerston North, in March 2002. She had suffered more than 45 injuries.

Mist was first sentenced to preventive detention – an open-ended prison term aimed to keep the most dangerous offenders behind bars until they are deemed to be no longer an undue risk to the community.

That sentence was reduced on appeal to one of 20 years and two months, much of which Mist served at Whanganui Prison, after it was found that Mist had been too young when he offended to have a preventive detention sentence imposed.

A Parole Board report from July 2022, six months before Mist’s release date, said that Miller’s family would never forgive Mist.

When the Parole Board asked Mist about the impact his crimes had on his victims, Mist said it had made “a big impact on him too and he sometimes goes over and over what happened in his head”.

He stated that he felt sorry for what he had done.

But the Parole Board, which noted that Mist had received a further jail sentence for an assault in the prison, said that Mist had not participated in any treatment programmes.

“Mr Mist explained that he considered his many disabilities too significant to partake in any kind of group programme,” the Parole Board report said.

After his release, Mist went to the Court of Appeal seeking to have his ESO removed when he realised that the legal grounds for imposing may not been established.

The appeal court dismissed his case, so he sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. That court refused him leave to take his case there this week.

“Mr Mist still presents a high level of risk of committing a relevant sexual offence in the future,” the Supreme Court decision said.

“We note in particular the gravity of Mr Mist’s offending, his lack of community support and the fact he has not undertaken any rehabilitation programmes in prison.”

Ric Stevens spent many years working for the former New Zealand Press Association news agency, including as a political reporter at Parliament, before holding senior positions at various daily newspapers. He joined NZME’s Open Justice team in 2022 and is based in Hawke’s Bay. His writing in the crime and justice sphere is informed by four years of front-line experience as a probation officer.

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