The Parole Board has today announced that reluctantly, Stewart Murray Wilson, the Beast of Blenheim will be released from prison in September; the Herald reports:
Notorious rapist Stewart Murray Wilson is set to be released from jail on September 1, despite Parole Board fears he will reoffend immediately.Wilson, known as the 'Beast of Blenheim', was jailed for 21 years in 1996 for gross sexual offending over a 25-year period.His offences included rape, stupefaction, indecent assaults, bestiality and willful ill-treatment of a child.Under previous legislation, he must be released on September 1 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.A Parole Board report into his case released this afternoon denied him parole for an eighth and final time.It said Wilson had never taken responsibility for his actions and would reoffend as soon as possible.The decision says Wilson had refused to participate in the preparation of a parole assessment report, refusing to provide any information about his release proposals other than that he was working with the prisoners aid and rehabilitation trust to find accommodation.He also refused to indicate in what part of the country he intended to reside."The report also referred to Mr Wilson's continued denial of responsibility for his offending and his refusal to engage in any programmes which could assist him in addressing his offending and assisting with his reintegration,''the decision says."The tenor of the report makes it clear that Mr Wilson has been positively obstructive of efforts to help him and that this has been his attitude throughout.''The board said Wilson remained a risk to society because of his ability to avoid detection, his complete denial of responsibility for his offending and his unwillingness to participate in any treatment programmes."We think particularly ominous his comment reported by (Withheld) when he was asked about contact with children under the age of 16, saying 'I don't give a stuff about that'."A Parole Board spokeswoman said the board had been clear the danger Wilson posed for many years.However, it was restrained by legislation and could not keep him in prison past his release date on September 1, she said.
Wilson is one of New Zealand's worst sexual predators, and the Parole Board is right to signal its concern as to the likely outcome of his release from custody later in the year. Of course, the Parole Board now has no discretion whatsoever; Wilson is entitled by law to be released.
The government has signalled its intention to enact legislation to protect the public from offenders such as Wilson, and we support that initiative, Had Wilson been (or been able to be) sentenced to Preventative Detention from the outset, this would not be an issue, and the Parole Board's grave concerns would see him remain behind bars indefinitely.
Doubtless the civil libertarians will be jumping on this case, suggesting that Wilson's rights are being violated. We are crystal-clear on this; if "rights" are going to be infringed, we would far rather that they were Stewart Murray Wilson's rights, and not those of his next victim.