Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Parole options discussed for 'Beast'

Stewart Murray Wilson dubbed the Beast of Blenheim after being convicted of multiple rapes. Photo / Supplied
Stewart Murray Wilson dubbed the Beast of Blenheim after being convicted of multiple rapes. Photo / Supplied

A lawyer acting for Stuart Murray Wilson says he has discussed possible alternatives to Wanganui after a fierce backlash from the local community to having the serial sex offender paroled to the area.

Whanganui District Council revealed today it is considering trespass orders against Wilson for some areas if he is moved into a house close to Whanganui Prison grounds when he is released next month.

"It is one of the actions we were going to try and undertake to try and change this decision," Mayor Annette Main said today.

"People were saying 'can we basically turn our backs on him as a community' and the answer to that is yes I guess.

"But it would be down to individual premise owners to decide what to do and the council would also have discussions on it," she said.

Ms Main said the council understood the difficulties around a trespass order but was willing to keep going.

"The ability to trespass this man from places in Whanganui ...is not a simple thing but it is an alternative if we aren't to succeed with changing this decision.

The council is considering legal action to keep Wilson, 65, from being relocated to the area.

Wilson's lawyer Andrew McKenzie confirmed he had discussed possible alternatives to Whanganui with his client.

"Obviously the reaction of Wanganui has been quite noticeable [and] probably, like Corrections, we are looking at what plan B might look like," Mr McKenzie said.

The intense public backlash in Wanganui, where three public meetings have been held this week, has been reminiscent of a 2005 anti-paedophile campaign in the West Coast town of Blackball.

The campaign, led by Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn, saw residents drive out a convicted paedophile living in their town.

Mr Tony Kokshoorn told APNZ he had been following the situation in Wanganui closely.

"We know what it's like - and there are no limits when it comes to protecting our young," he said.

He said the Department of Corrections risked "vigilante action" from the Wanganui community if it continued to ignore their demands.

"[In 2005] we found out where the guy [convicted paedophile] lived and picketed outside his house.

"We let the school know about him and made sure all the parents and their kids knew."

"Corrections needs to listen to what the public are saying, because it's something that people will act on on their own," he said.

He encouraged the Wanganui council and community to keep campaigning against Wilson, who was jailed in 1996 for sexual offending against women and girls.

He has served his sentenced and must now be released. Wilson will be subject to the most severe parole conditions ever imposed on a released prisoner in New Zealand.

- APNZ

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