A judge has dismissed the Wanganui District Council's bid to stop Corrections from placing sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson in its community, as well as dismissing a judicial review by Wilson to have his release conditions relaxed.

In the High Court at Wellington today Justice Ron Young released the outcome but not his full decision.

Legally, Wilson cannot be kept jailed after the end of this week, after serving 18 years of a 21-year sentence in prison for crimes against women and children that spanned 25 years.

As part of his 17 strict release conditions he has to live at a house near Wanganui Prison, be monitored by satellite tracking and whenever he leaves his home, he must be accompanied by two minders.


The Parole Board said it welcomed the Justice Young's decision.

A board spokeswoman said the judge's direction for a reintegration plan to be developed was for Corrections and Wilson to resolve. She said any plan would then be submitted to the board.

"A panel of the board is scheduled to convene tomorrow to consider the proposal," she said.

During today's hearing, Wilson's lawyer Andrew McKenzie said there was no timeline for Wilson's reintegration in the community.

Justice Young said the Parole Board needed to work out such a plan for Wilson to eventually be reintroduced to the community.

The council's lawyer, Hayden Wilson, told the court earlier today the way Corrections came to the decision to place Wilson in Wanganui was tainted.

He said the department elevated the needs of Wilson's victims first over the safety of the public, which should have been paramount.

Mr Wilson said the most logical place for Wilson to go was Christchurch Men's Prison, where two other high risk offenders had been placed after their release, but the department did not even consider anywhere else.


Justice Young said Wilson had to go somewhere.

"Every community in New Zealand will probably feel the same as people from Wanganui."

Corrections' counsel Austin Powell denied the department had mapped where Wilson's victims lived before shortlisting potential destinations.

"They canvassed a number of options but none were appropriate to house a high-risk child sex offender."

The three areas in the country where none of Wilson's 35 victims lived were Wanganui, New Plymouth and Hawkes Bay.

New Plymouth was eliminated because the prison was going to close and Hawkes Bay was eliminated because of close neighbours and because it did not have the right infrastructure, Mr Powell said.

Wanganui was the only place Wilson could go where Corrections could supply appropriate services.

Mr McKenzie told the court Wilson would be "better off in jail" if his release conditions were not eased.

"At least in jail you can talk to other people, walk around and play cards. He's effectively under house arrest and that goes too far."

Mr McKenzie said Wilson's offending largely took place in his home against women and children. He would groom his victims then abuse their trust rather than abducting children off the street, he said.

Mr McKenzie said the house at Whanganui Prison was not a place where he could bring potential victims.

"He's accepted those conditions."

Because the release conditions included not having women or children at his home, a lot of the risk against the public had been mitigated.

He said a number of the conditions therefore went too far and he questioned the condition of satellite tracking.

"If you've got two minders on either side of you wherever you go, why do you need GPS?"

Mr McKenzie said there were special conditions that had to apply before GPS monitoring could be imposed, and those conditions did not exist.

Mr Powell said that before the release conditions were decided on Wilson was unco-operative, so they had to make decisions without his input.