Murderer up for parole

By Kiri Gillespie


A notorious Tauranga gang leader, serving life for the execution-style murder of his former girlfriend, will be heard for parole next week but a bereaved sibling warns he will kill again if released.

James Henry Wilson was president of the Filthy Few motorcycle gang when he murdered sex worker Jo-Anne Maree Van Duyvenbooden in August 1999.

Wilson, known as "Little Willy", was sentenced to life imprisonment in February 2000 but is expected to appear before the New Zealand Parole Board again on Monday.


In February this year, Wilson had his first parole application declined.

The parole board declined the application so that Wilson's graduation from a Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitative Programme and pending psychologist's report from it could be considered.

The written decision also indicated Wilson wished to pursue a reintegrative release and sought "support" for that.

Wilson's criminal history includes more than 100 convictions, mostly for serious crimes. He also arranged for another man to wrongly admit guilt for Van Duyvenbooden's murder.

The victim's sister Chris Henderson told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend she still thought of her sister every day and would travel to the Wellington hearing to submit against Wilson's release.

She had no doubt he would kill again.

"You can't tell me you can restore someone like him. If he has been restored then where's my letter of apology, where's my mother's?" she said.

Ms Henderson said Wilson effectively killed her father too.

"Before Jo's death he was fit, happy and healthy. My dad broke up overnight and eventually died of cancer. He wasn't the same. That was his little girl."

Ms Henderson said she spoke with other victims of Wilson's crimes and there were many terrified at his potential release.

Ms Henderson said she believed Wilson would go on a retribution rampage against people who wronged him and "not hold back".

She was the only person prepared to speak up against him, she said.

"I don't care. He's already destroyed my family. That's why I'm doing it... this creep is down for parole and everyone needs to be warned."

Ms Henderson said her children, who were young teenagers at the time, missed their aunty Jo.

"It's going to be hard but I'm doing it. I'm the only voice she has left. Everyone else is too scared."

Sensible Sentencing Trust Tauranga spokesman Ken Evans said life should mean life and it was unbelievable the parole board would consider releasing Wilson.

"We need to send the parole board a very clear message that we do not want a man like that back on our streets."

Criminology Professor Greg Newbold said people with a similar background to Wilson had successfully turned their lives around when released from prison - but there needed to be a support network in place.

Prof Newbold is on the board of trustees of Salisbury Street Foundation, a reintegrative service for paroled prisoners based in Christchurch.

"People doing long lags like that with that kind of history, they need an adjustment period and time to put down new roots with people who are different people from who they knew before," he said.

Prof Newbold said Wilson, if freed, would be best placed away from Tauranga.

Tauranga police Senior Sergeant Lew Warner, who worked on the homicide case at the time, previously described Wilson as one of the worst violent criminals he had dealt with.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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