Whanganui community's outrage hypocritical - lawyer
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 11:52a.m.
After three heated meetings, the Wanganui District Council has decided to use all legal avenues to stop Stewart Murray Wilson, known as the 'Beast of Blenheim', being released to a house on Whanganui prison grounds.
But a human rights lawyer says the Whanganui community's anger over a serial sex offender being sent to a house near its prison is hypocritical.
The only other offender to live in a similar situation after release was another notorious paedophile whose victims were in Whanganui, so he was sent to Christchurch.
“It seems somewhat strange that Whanganui is perfectly happy to have him go from its area, to be paroled into Christchurch or Canterbury, yet they don't want to have the same thing happen the other way around,” says human rights lawyer Michael Bott.
Lloyd McIntosh served time for sex attacks on two children and an intellectually handicapped woman in Whanganui. He was sent to a property on Rolleston Prison grounds to be away from his victims
It's the same reason Wilson's being sent to Whanganui, but the mayor says they're not being two-faced by opposing his arrival.
“We're not saying that our offenders should be sent to other places and other people's offender shouldn't be sent here," says Mayor Annette Main. "This particular case has been hoisted on us at short notice and we simply are reacting to the community's concerns.”
Those concerns saw the council last night push for a judicial review of the decision, and try to prevent resource consent for the property being built for Wilson, which councillor Michael Laws says will be costly, but necessary.
“You're a representative of the people you represent and the community is united, I've never seen a community like this in the history of Whanganui,” says Mr Laws.
The council is also considering a campaign of community trespassing or shunning of Wilson, something Mt Bott says will lead to acts of vigilantism.
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23/08/2012 6:35:22 p.m.
Since this country has chosen to reject the option of capital punishment or consider surgical castration we are only left with prison sentences. When this man was convicted no doubt people applauded the length of the sentence. The date of his release has been know for some time. Perhaps the council would be better served by dealing with the period following his parole. For now his conditions of release are very strict, but in three years he will have completed his full sentence and if he has avoided any reoffending he will be free to live, I believe, without restrictions. This is what we should be addressing. Please correct me if I am wrong about this.
17/08/2012 4:47:54 p.m.
Why in hell should he get given the privilege over all those other people out there living in sheds cars tents etc,of getting a state house??Why not a shipping container off the Rena for this crim to live in.He has sex in his blood and should be in a area on his own where he is in a isolated place. Where no contact can be made on women and girls in a area where they can go about their lives without fear of being afraid of a person such as Wilson.
17/08/2012 3:25:35 p.m.
Why doesnt this lawyer take him home to his place. I bet if he was moving in next door he wouldnt be so high and mighty. the chances of him reoffending may be slim but as long as some exist who wants him. As far as Im concerned he gave up his rights when he committed these horrid crimes
17/08/2012 2:24:39 p.m.
he should be made to go and live on white island. in a box
17/08/2012 1:18:24 p.m.
I tend to agree with Michael Bott, a view that has been more or less repeated by criminologist Greg Newbold. The chances of Wilson reoffending are pretty slim and the arrangements proposed to keep an eye on him seem more than adequate. So rather than worrying about who will protect the citizens of Wanganui from Wilson, who will protect Wilson from the citizens of Wanganui. Interestingly local Maori seem to have a more humane view on Wilson, more so than the sold Christians in the river city. I suppose the clamouring and fear mongering there must reflect what it was probably like in the witch hunts of old.
17/08/2012 1:18:20 p.m.
The lawyer is quite wrong. The community no doubt feels that this criminal shouldn't be released ANYWHERE. There is nothing inconsistent in their stance. If Mr Bott wishes him to be released, he should feel free to offer his own home as accomodation, if he feels so strongly about the matter.
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