Te Tai Hauauru MP Tariana Turia has confirmed she will be a neighbour of convicted sex offender Stuart Murray Wilson, the so-called Beast of Blenheim, once he is paroled to Whanganui and says there should be "huge fears" for his safety "given the feelings in the community".
With feelings running high in Whanganui over Wilson's release Turia, a former corrections minister, said locals had been treated poorly and were "extremely concerned about [Wilson] coming into our community."
He will be paroled to Kaitoke, where Turia lives, next month.
"This is really about poor communication, when you are releasing inmates of this nature back into the community. It's not about me....this issue is really about how all the residents of Whanganui feel about having somebody whose never ever admitted the wrong he's done, despite 42 women being involved. I think that's appalling in itself and I believe that's why the community do feel seriously at risk," Turia said.
While she would be neighbours with Wilson on his release she did feel any more at risk "than anybody else in Whanganui".
"First and foremost it would have been good for the community to be consulted properly....he's got to go somewhere, the law says he has to be released from prison and I guess people need to have comfort that their rights and their safety will be protected."
But the community had a right to be told before it was announced Wilson would be moving into the community.
"The most important thing for me is about the safety of our community and of course I think there should be huge concerns about his personal safety as well given the feelings in the community."
National MP for Whanganui and the Minister for Courts Chester Borrows said it was unclear how people would respond to Wilson.
"You can understand people are very antsy about it and that's a normal human condition in these circumstances."
Borrows said he had seen where Wilson's house would be and he didn't think he was vulnerable to attack.
"I wouldn't call him a sitting duck."
As a local resident, Borrows said he shared concerns about having a high-end offender living in his community.
"But I think the Corrections Department have done all they can to nail down any possible risk."
The Whanganui placement had been carefully selected because there were none of his victims there.
Borrows would attend a meeting tomorrow night in Whanganui where Corrections would be providing information around Wilson's placement.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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