By SCOTT INGLIS
The family of a boy kidnapped and sexually attacked by a former mental patient are furious the man is about to be released from prison.
The man, who was at the centre of the Pugmire whistle-blower affair, will be freed from Rolleston Prison on September 19 after serving a mandatory two-thirds of a nine-year sentence.
Stephen Staynor, formerly known as Barry Allan Ryder, was jailed after kidnapping an 11-year-old Wanganui boy and assaulting him with the intention of having sexual intercourse in a scrap metal yard in September 1994.
Staynor was also convicted of assault with a weapon after pointing a knife at the terrified boy.
He had earlier served time at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital for trying to rape and strangle two youngsters.
His release from Lake Alice in April 1993 prompted psychiatric nurse Neil Pugmire to warn that he was still dangerous.
Those fears became public when Mr Pugmire went to then-Opposition justice spokesman Phil Goff after getting no response from the Government.
Mr Pugmire nearly lost his job over the incident, which sparked debate on the rights of whistle- blowers to raise issues of public concern.
The family of Staynor's 11-year-old victim said last night that they were angry he was about to be released into the community again.
His mother told 3 News, "They knew what he was like last time. Look what happened. He is not welcome back in Wanganui."
An aunt told the Herald the family thought Staynor should stay in jail or in a secure psychiatric hospital.
"Anyway off the streets so he does not do it again," she said.
The victim had been traumatised by the attack, which happened when Staynor abducted the boy who was was fishing at Whanganui River on September 17, 1994.
Staynor will have parole conditions but the Parole Board has no option but to release him under the Criminal Justice Act.
Convicted rapist Taffy Hotene, who had also struck in Wanganui, was released after serving a mandatory two-thirds of his sentence before he murdered Auckland journalist Kylie Jones in June.
A former Wanganui police senior sergeant, Mike Keaney, unwittingly found himself living next door to Staynor after his release from Lake Alice and before he attacked in 1994.
Staynor lived in a shed at the back of a neighbouring section and his behaviour "unsettled" Mr Keaney's children and worried him.
Mr Keaney said Staynor's best friend at the time was a white cat.
"Really that is all he had. He seemed to have little or no support.
"He just had no social skills whatsoever. In fact, we felt sorry for him - still do."
Mr Keaney said the thought of Staynor being released into the community "horrified" him.
"You simply cannot drop someone like Staynor back into the community ... I feel the system has let him down."
Justice Minister Phil Goff said in 1995 that National ministers were to blame for Staynor's conviction and that he should be detained under better legislation.
Mr Goff is overseas at the moment and a spokesman could not be contacted.
By SCOTT INGLIS