Council's case against Wilson to be heard next week
Updated at 7:24 pm on 21 August 2012
The Whanganui District Council's case against the release of sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson into the area will be heard in the Wellington High Court on Monday.
The council has lodged court papers for a judicial review of the decision-making process used by the Department of Corrections and the Parole Board.
Wilson, 65, who has served 16 years for multiple rapes and assaults on women, bestiality and ill-treatment of children, is to be released on 29 August to live in a house in the grounds of Whanganui Prison.
The council argues that Corrections and the Parole Board have not appropriately considered the safety of the community.
The council's lawyer, Hayden Wilson, told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Tuesday that even the 17 stringent release conditions placed on Wilson do not guarantee people's safety.
"The question is, where is the place that he can be relocated to that best assures the safety of the community. It's inevitable that he will have stringent conditions because of the kind of offender he is - those aren't necessarily foolproof."
Mr Wilson says the Parole Act requires authorities to put the safety of the community first when making such decisions.
Wilson has also sought a judicial review of his release conditions, which will also be held on Monday. His lawyer, Andrew McKenzie, says the Parole Board has exceeded its powers and the conditions essentially mean that his client will be under house arrest.
No consent for house yet
Resource consent papers have shed new light on the Corrections Department's secretive handling of the case.
The council has not yet approved consent for the house where Wilson will live on Pauri Road and the building has yet to be transported to the site.
Corrections filed the resource consent application on 6 August, just two days before details of Wilson's release was made public.
It says only one person would live in the house and it would accommodate high-risk offenders on community-based sentences. However, it makes no mention of Wilson.
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