'Beast of Blenheim' Stewart Murray Wilson to be released from prison

Author
Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Aug 2019, 2:10PM
Stewart Murray Wilson will be released from prison after being jailed last year for a new group of sexual offences. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Stewart Murray Wilson will be released from prison after being jailed last year for a new group of sexual offences. Photo / Brett Phibbs

'Beast of Blenheim' Stewart Murray Wilson to be released from prison

Author
Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 8 Aug 2019, 2:10PM

Stewart Murray Wilson, infamously dubbed the Beast of Blenheim, will be released from prison despite his continued denial of all his sexual offending.

The now 72-year-old was jailed again last year after being found guilty of raping a woman, a then 9-year-old girl, and of attempting to rape a third woman during the 1970s and early 1980s in Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland.

He was found not guilty of raping a fourth woman - the mother of the young girl.

Police had reinvestigated the sex offender in 2016, which led to the new charges.

Because of the new two-years-and-four-month prison term, Wilson also had to leave his two-bedroom cottage on the Whanganui Prison grounds.

He had lived there since being released in 2012 - with an extended supervision order (ESO) and the most stringent conditions ever imposed on a New Zealander - after he was sentenced in 1996 to 21 years' imprisonment for drugging, assaulting and raping several women, as well as charges of stupefying and bestiality.

However, after a hearing last month, the Parole Board today said it would allow Wilson to leave prison and reside at a redacted Whanganui address.

The Herald understands Wilson will be returning to his cottage on August 20.

Stewart Murray Wilson, pictured at his cottage on the grounds of Whanganui Prison. Photo / File

Stewart Murray Wilson, pictured at his cottage on the grounds of Whanganui Prison. Photo / File

Wilson's counsel Andrew McKenzie argued his client could be paroled effectively on the same ESO conditions he was subject to in 2012.

The Parole Board's decision, by panel convenor Sir Ron Young, said while Wilson "remains at medium to high risk of reoffending" the special conditions imposed by the ESO "have been without difficulty".

"The ESO conditions were essentially part of an individualised plan developed by Corrections," the decision reads.

"These are extremely tight conditions of control. They would involve Mr Wilson going back to live in a residence immediately outside Whanganui Prison where he is essentially unable to leave without agreement of probation officers. He is subject to GPS monitoring and a number of other conditions."

Stewart Murray Wilson was sentenced in 1996 to 21 years' imprisonment for sex and violence offences. Photo / Supplied

Stewart Murray Wilson was sentenced in 1996 to 21 years' imprisonment for sex and violence offences. Photo / Supplied

Wilson, however, "continues, as he has for many years, to deny all sexual offending other than some less serious nonsexual offending", the decision reads.

Despite this, the Parole Board said: "We are satisfied that given the special conditions imposed, we can impose including significant control over Mr Wilson's whereabouts and his capacity to reoffend then with those conditions he is no longer an undue risk and may now be released."

An additional condition imposed on Wilson's release requires an in-person monitoring hearing within a period of three months, that is by the end of November 2019.

Other conditions imposed on Wilson, include a ban on driving, not to possess, use, or consume alcohol or drugs, not to use or possess any device capable of accessing the internet and not to engage in any clubs, groups or churches without the prior written approval of his probation officer.

Wilson is also banned from placing any advertisement, or reference in any printed or digital publication, and not to respond to any advertisements.

He is also banned from having any woman at his cottage and barred from leaving the Whanganui District.

Stewart Murray Wilson will return to his cottage, the Parole Board has ruled. Photo / Bevan Conley

Stewart Murray Wilson will return to his cottage, the Parole Board has ruled. Photo / Bevan Conley

The Parole Board also commented on a note that Wilson wishes to see his mother.

The proposed plan was for Wilson to pay the costs of air travel and other personal costs, including accommodation, and the Department of Corrections would meet the costs of staff travelling in support.

"Mr Wilson has advised that he has saved sufficient money and indeed saved sufficient money some time ago to undertake this travel," the decision reads.

"He has tried, we are told, repetitively to convince Community Corrections to arrange such a visit. Each time it seems he has been refused."

The Parole Board has on a previous occasion remarked that it is difficult to see what objection there could be to a properly supervised visit to his mother and invited Community Corrections to report on this plan at the next monitoring hearing.

Earlier this week, Wilson challenged both his new convictions and Justice Graham Lang's sentence which had stemmed from the 2016 investigation at the Court of Appeal in Wellington.

Court of Appeal president Justice Stephen Kós, Justice Mark Woolford and Justice Rachel Dunningham heard the appeal and have reserved their decision.

 

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