Whanganui's backup plan on Beast
Sun, 26 Aug 2012 6:08p.m.
By Janika ter Ellen
Whanganui isn't giving up on stopping serial sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson, known as the Beast of Blenheim, being paroled in their town.
The council is launching a judicial review tomorrow and that could force the Parole Board to re-consider its decision to release him there.
They even have a backup plan.
Whanganui district councillors Ray Stevens and Michael Laws will deliver trespass notices to local businesses, ready for owners to hand them to Stewart Wilson if he comes onto their property.
“It would make it basically impossible for him to purchase any garments, food, clothing, anything like that,” says Mr Laws.
It's a legal tactic they believe would force him out of town.
But the council is hoping it won't be needed. It's challenging the decision to move Wilson to Whanganui at Wellington's High Court tomorrow. The Department of Corrections says Whanganui is the best option because none of Wilson's victims live there.
But Hayden Wilson, who'll argue on the council's behalf, says Wilson's victims shouldn't necessarily be the top priority.
“That's an important consideration, but the act is quite clear,” says the council lawyer. “The place that the Parole Board needs to consider is the place where the safety of the community is best served.”
“That's not saying from our perspective the concerns of the victims are not relevant, but it's our understanding they should have been looking at the safety of our community first and foremost,” says Whanganui mayor Annette Main.
If the council is successful, the Parole Board will be forced to re-consider its decision.
But for now it seems, it is full-steam ahead. Wilson has already been moved to Whanganui Prison ahead of his release to a house at a site on prison grounds.
“I'm pretty annoyed by it,” says Ms Main. “It does seem like a pretty arrogant move on the part of the Department of Corrections.”
But it's illegal to detain Wilson past the end of his sentence on Saturday.
So the fact remains that he has to be released somewhere, and fast.
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27/08/2012 9:02:51 a.m.
This is now getting silly. Michael Laws loving the attention at playing a big fish in an egg cup! Mayor Annette Main backing it to secure her next term in office. On the conditions I read would it not be easier for everyone to chip in buy a house and then give it to one of Wilsons victims? But I think this is as much about Laws and Main as it is about Wilson! We all have our own agenda at heart but pretend it is something else!
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