Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Minders to monitor movements of 'Beast'

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

Stewart Murray Wilson will continue to be have his movements monitored by two minders after the Parole Board declined to change that release condition.

Its variation of conditions around Wilson's release remained largely unchanged, despite a High Court judge questioning some aspects of it at a hearing earlier this week.

Wilson walked out of jail this morning to start a new life in a house on the Whanganui Prison grounds.

He had spent the last 18 years behind bars for crimes against mainly women and children.

In the High Court at Wellington on Monday, Justice Ron Young questioned a Corrections condition that Wilson have two minders with him each time he left his property.

He also showed concern at the wording of a reintegration plan for Wilson into the community.

He directed Corrections and Wilson's lawyer Andrew McKenzie to meet to discuss a reintegration plan and pass their proposal to the Parole Board.

The Parole Board released its variation of his conditions this afternoon.

The board's spokeswoman told APNZ it was up to Corrections on whether it would continue to insist that Wilson be accompanied by two minders whenever he left his property.

"We think that's probably a good idea."

It also tightened wording around Wilson's participation in a reintegration programme.

Now, instead of just participating in the programme, Wilson had to engage in it to the "complete satisfaction" of his probation officer before he could be reintegrated, the spokeswoman said.

The board also said that if Corrections felt that Wilson needed a curfew then it could come back to the Parole Board which would impose one.

Corrections said it would not comment on the Parole Board's variation of conditions.

But Mr McKenzie said they left the door open for the requirement for Wilson have two minders to be dropped.

He said the Parole Board's original release conditions never endorsed minders.

"The High Court expressed its concerns about minders. Today's Parole Board report did not endorse the two minders Corrections sought endorsement of."

The board had effectively said it was not their job to endorse that condition, Mr McKenzie said.

The report "side-stepped" the issue, he said.

"They have refused to endorse minders and therefore we can take the position there are no minders. I think at this position there wouldn't be any minders."

Wanganui Mayor Annette Main said she was relieved board had not taken away the provision the Wilson needed minders whenever he left his property.

"We were concerned of course that if the number of minders was reduced to one that would increased the danger to the community and what we had asked is that any potential change to that would have to take into account the paramount safety to Wanganui people."

Wilson spent his first day out of prison quietly in his self-care unit at the prison.

Ms Main said she had received some feedback about his release today.

"Some people are still not happy that he's there. Other people are reasonably comfortable with the assurances of the Department of Corrections and the police."

- APNZ

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