Wilson won't pay for 'house arrest'

FREE AND FISHING: Stewart Wilson at the Whanganui River mouth.
FREE AND FISHING: Stewart Wilson at the Whanganui River mouth.

He's been out of prison more than two months, but the sexual predator dubbed the Beast of Blenheim is yet to sign a tenancy agreement and is living rent-free.

The Corrections Department has tried to make Stewart Murray Wilson sign the paperwork, which would see him paying about $100 a week to live in a two-bedroom home on Whanganui Prison grounds.

However, Wilson said yesterday he had so far refused to sign because of a directive a judge made during a Parole Board hearing in August.

"I'm waiting for further legal advice on [whether to sign] it," he said.

At the hearing earlier this year, his lawyer, Andrew McKenzie, argued that Wilson should not have to pay rent or sign an agreement while he was forced to live at a home chosen by Corrections. The Parole Board agreed.

"If they want to place him under house arrest, he shouldn't have to pay for the privilege," Mr McKenzie has said since.

Corrections Lower North Island regional manager Karen Petrie said the department "is currently finalising details surrounding rent".

"Mr Wilson is complying with all conditions of his release, and we are continuing to work closely with the Whanganui community to support Mr Wilson's reintegration plan."

Wilson was jailed for 21 years in 1996 after being convicted on 22 sex charges against women and children between 1971 and 1994.

He was freed on August 29 into a self-care unit on Whanganui Prison land, but has since been moved to a relocated home nearby.

His parole conditions are some of the strictest ever imposed in New Zealand.

The Dominion Post