Violent offender set loose in Whangarei
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 6:06p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
The Department of Corrections says it is doing what it can to protect the Whangarei community from a high-risk violent offender who has just left prison.
That includes letting him live in a paddock near residential homes.
Arthur Alexander Gray has spent the past nine years in prison for attacking strangers in a Nelson backpackers and trying to murder one of them.
He has a paranoid delusional disorder.
The Parole Board would not release him until the last possible moment, saying he has a history of "bizarre and violent offending".
Now he is out, and living in a glorified shed in a paddock in Whangarei. Nearby, his neighbours say they are scared - too scared to let 3 News film their faces.
“We are living here in fear of him. He could strike at any time, we don't know when,” says an anonymous neighbour.
They say this is no place for a man who has been assessed as being at high-risk of future violent offending.
“If he's so bad he actually has to be looked after, not just put in a tin shed. It's not going to do him any good,” says another anonymous neighbour.
The Parole Board acknowledged before his release there were difficulties, saying: "We do not think it will be an easy task to manage his release."
Mr Gray actually requested to live in a tent, but instead the Department of Corrections and police organised the cabin.
Corrections say under proposed legislation he would have been a candidate for a public protection order, which would have meant he could be kept in what they describe as a more secure environment.
The Parole Board set special conditions for his release, but it only has the power to impose them for six months.
After that, Mr Gray will be on his own.
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28/07/2012 4:49:15 p.m.
And they've closed all our mental institutions which is where someone like this person should be, not only for the safety of the general public, but also for his own safety and well-being.
21/07/2012 8:57:10 a.m.
Who is going to be accountable when he reoffends for surely that will happen one day...There is no accountability anymore for poor management.
20/07/2012 9:10:31 p.m.
So he's been locked him up for 9 years & he's still asessed as dangerous & a high risk of reoffending - Shouldn't everyone be more worried about how that
could happen? instead it's somehow acceptable to create a greater issue stigmatizing him, further hampering his chances of piecing his life back - in the process; making it easier for him to re-offend.
20/07/2012 7:40:14 p.m.
This man will stop taking his meds at some stage. Surely a psyc ward or a staffed home home is best suited for this man. He is a real and present danger to the public and by the looks cannot look after himself.
20/07/2012 7:11:56 p.m.
This is an unfortunate man who would normally be in a high security psych unit.If he stops taking his meds he will get paranoia and potentially attack the source of his imaginary ideas, eg: the neighbours.Very poor management of him.Scary dude.
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