Board declines Wilson's plea

By Staff Reporter

The Parole Board has refused a request by Stewart Murray Wilson to change his living conditions.

Wilson had 17 special conditions imposed as part of his parole. He lives in a house within the grounds of Whanganui Prison.

Wilson was sentenced to prison for 21 years on March 15, 1996, for serious sexual and violent offending against women and girls. He was also sentenced on stupefying and bestiality charges. His sentence ends on December 1, 2015.

At a hearing at Whanganui Prison on December 11, Wilson questioned why he had to pay rent and power costs of $100 a week and wanted to be able to drive a car, or scooter, by himself. He also sought more freedom to attend events such as concerts at the Wanganui Opera House and midnight mass.

His application to drive a vehicle on his own was rejected and the board said paying rent was part of his integration into society. The board said: "While he seems to be complying with all his release conditions at the moment, we accept his probation officer's view that this is because of the level of supervision he is subject to."

It also found that a "cautious approach" was needed because of "the nature and extent of his offending, his failure to accept responsibility for that offending, and his history of non compliance with rehabilitative interventions in custody".

Wilson said he was not surprised by the decisions and had never refused to pay rent. "It's just that being on a pension you don't have that much to come and go on."

On the vehicle issue, he said that would come in time. "It seems like we just have to wait and see what rolls out. I'm doing all right at the moment."

He is intending to supply Wanganui's Foodbank with vegetables from his garden, in order to "do something for the community". The questions about him paying rent and being able to drive have been left to his probation officers, and he said they were lovely people. "I think I've got the pick of the bunch."

He was reluctant to say more because having his name and photograph in a newspaper did not help his efforts at re-integration. "We just want things to die away and let me get on with having a normal life - if you call what's happening at the moment normal."

He next goes before the Parole Board in March.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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