GPS tracking for 'Beast of Blenheim'

DEIDRE MUSSEN
Last updated 12:32 08/08/2012
Stewart Murray Wilson
PAROLED: Stewart Murray Wilson pictured in 2001.

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Strict controls will be in place for the release of the ''Beast of Blenheim'' from Christchurch's Rolleston Prison to Whanganui on September 1.

The Parole Board released its decision today on serial sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson's parole conditions.

One of 17 special conditions will make him the first child-sex offender tracked by global positioning technology (GPS) while on parole.

He will be forced to live in a rental house on Whanganui Prison property, which has yet to be erected and awaits resource consent but is expected to be ready in time for his release.

Wilson, 65, was jailed for 21 years in March 1996, one of New Zealand's longest sentences at the time, after being convicted on 22 sex charges against women and children from 1971 to 1994, including rape, stupefying or attempting to stupefy, attempted rape, bestiality, ill treatment of children, assault and indecent assault.

His sentence will officially end in December 2015, but the board must release him on September 1 because he will have served his mandatory jail term under old sentencing rules, despite being assessed at high risk of reoffending.

A 10-year extended supervision order was last month imposed on Wilson, meaning the Corrections Department could monitor him until 2025, when he would be 78.

The board said in today's decision that Wilson had spent 18 years in jail and under normal circumstances would have expected a release ''relatively free of restrictions''.

However, its paramount consideration was community safety.

''Overall we believe that the conditions will protect the victims and the community at large.''

The board had taken into account submissions by Wilson's lawyer, Andrew McKenzie, that he would be in ''virtual social isolation'' under the conditions, which would not assist his integration into the community.

McKenzie told the board it could not direct where Wilson should live and questioned whether it could force him to be a tenant of the Corrections Department.

The board dropped its proposed special condition requiring Wilson to sign a licence agreement for the prison house because it was doubted it could force him to sign.

However, he was still required to live at that address and not to move without written approval by his probation officer.

''While we have adopted that course, we remain uncomfortable that having served his full sentence, and in due course he will be subject to an extended supervision order for 10 years, Mr Wilson is being compelled to live on prison property and within view of the prison,'' the board said.

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''He is in fact closer to the prison than the self-care units. However, as explained, we believe in the interests of safety that we have no alternative.

''We also bear in mind that Mr Wilson had been unwilling to put forward any other proposal before today.''

As part of his conditions, Wilson will have to appear before the board three months after his release so it can check his compliance with his conditions.

The board noted it had not imposed a curfew as it was unnecessary because of the electronic monitoring.

Other conditions Wilson would have to adhere to unless his probabion officer said otherwise included not leaving the Whanganui district, not associating with anyone under 16 unless an approved adult over 20 years was present, not having any female at his address, having no contact with his victims, completing a reintegration programme, attending sessions with a department psychologist to develop a safety plan, not engaging in any employment without approval, not possessing any electronic device capable of accessing the internet, not joining any clubs, groups, associations or churches unless approved, not placing any advertisements in any publications or responding to any such advertisement by another person, not owning or driving a vehicle, not possessing or consuming alcohol or illicit drugs and not attending any addiction support groups.

- The Press

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