We'd want to banish Beast, says mayor

By Teuila Fuatai

Any proposal to off-load serial-sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson in Wairarapa would definitely be opposed by residents, Masterton Mayor Garry Daniell warns.

But the chances of this happening were relatively low due to the lack of appropriate parole facilities.

Reports that the Department of Corrections could be forced to consider alternative locations for Wilson's parole have emerged after Wanganui District Council launched legal action to prevent the 65-year-old's release into their city.

Wilson, who previously was resident in Masterton, was jailed in 1996 for multiple crimes against women, children and animals.

He is due for release on parole on August 29 after serving 18 years of his 21-year sentence.

Mr Daniell said he would be shocked if anywhere in Wairarapa was being considered as a possible option for Wilson's release.

"We haven't even got a little island off our coast big enough to house a bed, so I would seriously question whether in fact ...

there is even any potential for him to come here."

Mr Daniell said Wanganui was considered because the city had a prison - something Wairarapa lacked. "As a consequence, I don't think it would even cross anyone's mind [for him] to come here. Quite obviously, without any secure facilities, there is just no possibility."

Victoria University Professor Tony Ward, a clinical psychologist and expert on sexual offenders and their rehabilitation, told the Wanganui Chronicle that local body politicians should be doing more to quell fears surrounding Wilson's release.

"I think they have failed the public on this one, creating unnecessary panic and angst among people that isn't justified," he said.

The Wanganui council application for judicial review, which alleges the Parole Board failed to properly consider the safety of the community, is expected to be heard on Monday at the High Court in Wellington.

But Corrections revealed that a key reason for sending Wilson to Wanganui was because it was one of the few places where none of his victims lived.

Wilson's lawyer Andrew McKenzie has lodged an application for judicial review on behalf of his client which appeals against the parole conditions set against him. APNZ


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