Final 'Beast' parole plan delayed

By Herald Online staff, Anne-Marie Emerson, APNZ -
Stewart Murray Wilson (in green) walks into his new home on prison grounds in Wanganui for the first time. Photo / One News
Stewart Murray Wilson (in green) walks into his new home on prison grounds in Wanganui for the first time. Photo / One News

A final decision on parole conditions for notorious sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson has been delayed until this afternoon, hours after his first taste of freedom.

The Parole Board met this morning to consider a revised reintegration plan for Wilson, including whether two minders need to be present every time he leaves his house.

The hearing has now been adjourned until this afternoon.

"Mr Wilson has been released under the conditions that were imposed in August,'' said a Parole Board statement.

"The existing decision still stands, and applies to his present release.''

Six prison guards accompanied Wilson in a van as it travelled about 1km from Whanganui Prison's main building about 6am today for the start of his release.

Wilson, wearing a green jersey, avoided the throng of gathered media beside the prison fence as he was escorted into self-care unit No 5 just outside the prison.

Last night the Wanganui District Council said it would co-ordinate a community "shunning" of him and ban him from all its parks, reserves and recreational facilities.

At a meeting which was open to the public the council also reluctantly agreed to approve building and resource consents for a house on Whanganui Prison grounds where Wilson will live when he is released this week.

On Monday, the council lost a bid in the High Court at Wellington to prevent Wilson, dubbed the "Beast of Blenheim", from being paroled to the area.

Wilson served 18 years in jail for sex crimes, mainly against women and children.

Last night, the councillors approved five action points:

* To investigate the possibility of launching an appeal against Justice Ronald Young's High Court ruling.

* To undertake political lobbying to pass retrospective legislation.

* To form a group with the aim of launching a community safety plan.

* To co-ordinate a community shunning of Wilson.

* To ban Wilson from all council parks, reserves and recreational facilities.

Mayor Annette Main said the legal advice provided to the council indicated that there was no valid reason to withhold consent for the ex-state house in which Wilson will live at the prison grounds.

Councillors Michael Laws, Jack Bullock and Ray Stevens voted against the motion to approve the consents.

Councillors were unanimous in a decision to appeal against the High Court's decision, pending the release of Justice Young's full decision.

Mayor Main said the council had taken the opportunity to think about what to do next in the best interests of the Wanganui community.

"It is imperative we take a responsible and mature approach on behalf of our community and work alongside them, and relevant agencies, including the police and the Corrections Department."

- APN

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