Beast's trespass notices 'unwise'

By Anne Marie Emerson of the Wanganui Chronicle -
Stewart Murray Wilson. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Stewart Murray Wilson. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Trespass notices against serial sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson are "unnecessary and unwise", two Wanganui District councillors say.

Councillors Philippa Baker-Hogan and Rob Vinsen spoken out against the proposed trespass notices after a legal opinion obtained by the council highlighted difficulties in successfully serving trespass notices on Wilson.

Wilson served 18 years of a 21-year sentence for multiple sexual and violent crimes against women and children. He was paroled, under strict conditions, to live in a house just outside Whanganui Prison.

The council unsuccessfully applied for a judicial hearing to overturn the Department of Correction's decision to parole Wilson in Wanganui.

At a meeting on August 28, the council resolved to trespass Wilson from 18 parks and reserves in the Wanganui district.

The council is set to discuss the issue again at its meeting on October 23.

No trespass notices have yet been served on Wilson, although they have been prepared. Legal advice the council received has indicated that only those parks and reserves the council has immediate control of can be subject to a trespass notice, unless the occupier gives their approval.

Of the list of 18 parks and reserves, three have a total lease on them and 11 have a partial lease, meaning that only four are directly controlled by the council and could have a trespass notice applied to them immediately.

However, ahead of the meeting, Ms Baker-Hogan and Mr Vinsen have proposed a motion that all trespass notices in related to Wilson be withheld until the council resolves otherwise.

Both Ms Baker-Hogan and Mr Vinsen have been representing the council on the community safety group set up to monitor Wilson's release conditions and Ms Baker-Hogan said it was obvious these conditions were being well managed by police, Corrections and the Probation Service.

"Given that banning Wilson from visiting the places specified in the council's trespass resolution is already covered by the release conditions, council's further action on this is unnecessary."

Ms Baker-Hogan said the police had also said they believed the trespass notices were not robust in law, and would not take any action on them.

Mr Vinsen said he originally voted in favour of the trespass notices because he felt they added weight to a possible Corrections decision not to send Wilson to Wanganui.

"Now that Wilson is here and is being well managed, I see no need for them," he said.

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