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Catch 22 allows 23 out before 21

Updated on August 7, 2012


Sometime next month a very unsavoury person is going to be released, albeit with conditions into New Zealand society and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it happening.


When Stuart Murray Wilson walks out of Rolleston Prison next month he will be the same dangerous sexual predator he was when he was sentenced to 21 years back in 1996. At that time he was convicted on 23 offences that included rape, attempted rape, bestiality, stupefying, indecent assault and ill-treatment of a child. I gather his known victims tally is 16. I further understand he has been a suspect in the Teresa Cormack case but has steadfastly refused to provide a DNA sample. Funny how convicted sex offenders are allowed to do that isn’t it?


The crimes Wilful Wilson was sentenced for were pretty horrific, yet throughout his entire time in the slammer he has refused to acknowledge them or undergo any counselling at all. He has wanked off in front of a female Corrections Officer, allegedly written a pretty nasty bestiality story (although that might have been a fit-up) and said that he won’t take any notice of any conditions the Parole Board care to impose on him.


Of course those of us who consider ourselves numerate would have worked out that 1996 + 21 = 2017 and not 2012. But you see that’s the beauty of our justice system. So wond’rous are its subtleties that attempt to cloak the fact that nothing is really as it seems. I suspect a couple of years on remand might have been included in the sentence but it still doesn’t add up.


Anyway Wilful Wilson is actually quite a lucky man. Not lucky as in won the Lotto type of thing, but lucky he was convicted in 1996; because that was a time when he faced more lenient parole arrangements than he would if he had been convicted after 2002. As a result he was originally due for release in 2010 however he was adjudged to be such a danger to the community an application under the 2002 Parole Act was successfully applied for to keep him in ‘until the end of his sentence’ whatever that means.


Somehow or other a very embarrassed Parole Board and Corrections System have managed to cobble together some sort of conditions to monitor this dirty old man as best they can.


The parole conditions are planned to include living in a house near to Whanganui Prison, although ol’ Michael Jaws is kicking up a big fuss about that at the moment. Mind you, I probably would in his place. Anyway wherever Wilson ends up he will also be electronically monitored 24/7. That’s if the dopey bugger who is supposed to be monitoring his bracelet hasn’t popped out for a fag and got talking for half an hour.


All the usual crap about not moving or going anywhere without his Probation Officer’s permission (like Wilful is gonna ask?), and being banned from going on the Internet are there as well. He is also not allowed to have a woman in his house or own a motor vehicle. But I guess he will have a telephone and there are one or two taxi operators in Whanganui. There is still a decision to be reached as to whether he will be monitored by GPS as well.


I feel a little sorry for the Parole Board and the Corrections Department really because they have been sold a real lemon with this one. Because of our carelessly drafted laws a man who was sentenced for 23 nasty crimes and hasn’t acknowledged any of them gets out before his 21 years all because of the Catch 22 of the New Zealand Criminal (ain’t it?) (in)Justice System.


You see when we catch a criminal in New Zealand and occasionally lock him up we seem to think (or rather our system is designed to think) that is the end of the matter. Man does crime; man gets caught; man goes to jail; man comes out; all is fine in La-La (New Zea) land.


No thought whatsoever has been given to whether we can reform the criminal or if we can’t what we can do with him. It seems to me that if we want to actually reform prisoners we need to be a bit more pro-active about getting their attention while they are, shall we say, a captive audience. Surely it would be much easier to get a sexual offender to attend a course to ‘address his offending’ while he is not in a position to duck of to the pub or the playground instead of going to his session? I’m sure it would be more reliable than the current system where they have to organise their own counselling and pay for it after release.


So the answer has to be for ALL sex offenders’ jail sentences to contain a mandatory order to undergo during their period of incarceration, an appropriate course to address their inappropriate behaviours. That course would need to be a compulsory part of their sentence. Failure to complete would mean the sentence had not been completed. Then they could be held until they did get counselling, however unwillingly.


But for those like Wilful there should be the provision under the Sentencing Act to make their eventual release subject to them satisfying the Attorney General they pose no threat to anyone.


And speaking of the Attorney-General, where is that smug little Kenneth Williams lookalike in all of this? It’s little twerps like him that could step up and get some meaningful changes to the Sentencing Act under way so future Parole Boards aren’t faced with this sort of nonsense. But no, instead little Christopher is playing in the sandpit trying to impress his big FBI chums by appealing the High Court ruling against the Police for their invalid search warrants in the Kim Dotcom case. What with the Urewera fiasco and Kim Dotcom, little Chris is in danger of deposing Collins as the Minister for Embarrassing Fuck-ups.


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