8 Aug 2012

Cr vows to fight plan to house Wilson in Whanganui

9:27 pm on 8 August 2012

A Whanganui District councillor says he will fight tooth and nail to prevent a notorious sex criminal arriving in the area.

Stewart Murray Wilson will be out of jail on 1 September more than 16 years after he was locked away for multiple rapes, assault, bestiality, drugging and the ill-treatment of children.

Wilson, 65, is still considered a high-risk but legally must be released.

The Parole Board has on Wednesday imposed 17 release conditions, one of which forces him to live on the grounds of Whanganui Prison.

A Whanganui District councillor, Jack Bullock, says the plans have enraged locals.

Mr Bullock says it is possible a High Court injunction to stop the release could be taken.

However Corrections chief executive Ray Smith told Checkpoint Wilson will live 10 km out of town, be monitored by GPS and can leave only in the company of two approved people.

Mr Bullock told Checkpoint the restrictions on Wilson are not tough enough.

He said Wilson could leave the prison house at any time and by the time he is caught, he could have already reoffended.

Mr Bullock told the programme there is to be a public meeting this Sunday where ratepayers can voice their opinions and those views will then be taken to local MPs.

Mayor not consulted

The Whanganui mayor says prison authorities did not bother to consult her about releasing a notorious sex offender into the district.

Mayor Annette Main was told only on Wednesday morning that the sex offender is coming to her town.

She feels Whanganui has no option but to take Wilson because it is the only place in the country where none of his victims live.

17 conditions imposed

The Parole Board has imposed 17 special conditions for Wilson.

These include compelling him to live on Whanganui Prison property, within view of the jail itself.

Wilson is not to leave the address, nor Whanganui itself without permission.

He is forbidden from contacting any of his victims, any females and anybody under 16.

The rules also preclude Wilson taking a job, driving a car, accessing the internet, placing newspaper advertisements, attending clubs, groups, churches or addiction support groups without permission.

In a first for the New Zealand justice system, the conditions allow for Wilson to be GPS monitored.

In its judgement, the Parole Board says it believes the conditions will protect Wilson's 35 victims and the community at large.

The Board has also ordered Wilson to attend a follow-up hearing in November, to check he is complying with the rules.

Wilson better off in prison: lawyer

The lawyer for Wilson says the parole conditions put on his client's release go too far and he plans to challenge them.

Andrew McKenzie says the no-contact conditions will isolate and effectively place him under house arrest.

He says Wilson has served his time, and should now be allowed to move on.