We really do live in a crazy world

By Don Farmer

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Two news clips - one sourced in this country and the other from Australia this week - lend weight to the argument that we indeed live in a crazy world.

The first emanated from figures supplied to TVNZ that showed costs relating to the release of one of the country's worst ever sexual predators, Stewart Murray Wilson, amounted to $200,000 in three months.

It was claimed the amount was twice as much as it would cost to have kept Wilson - a former Masterton man but better known as the Beast of Blenheim - behind bars for a year. From that it could be deduced that $100,000 a year is needed to lock up and keep prisoners like Wilson separated from other people.

That, in itself, is a not-too-pleasant revelation for taxpayers but the very thought that double that amount has been spent in just three months to make sure Wilson is housed is little short of scandalous.

This may sound harsh but when it comes to people like Wilson - a serial sex offender - my preferred option if it was really, really necessary to set him free would be to open the doors of the jail and let him take his chances.

The obvious problem with that though is that steps have to be taken to protect others against him, an unfortunate truth and the reason why we have to shell out so much money so he can be released.

Story No2 related to what can only be termed an Aussie idiot, a merchant banker by the name of Paul Peters, who has been jailed for a minimum of 10 years by a Sydney court.

Peters, 52, had strapped a fake collar bomb around the neck of a teenage girl, using a bike chain to secure her, and causing her 10 hours of untold terror not knowing whether at any second she would be blown to Kingdom Come.

He had apparently "confused" himself with a character in a crime novel he was reading but was not deemed by the court to be suffering from any kind of mental illness. God spare us from idiots like that.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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