Releasing the beast

Stewart Murray Wilson, 65, long-time inmate at Rolleston Prison in Christchurch. "Murray" to the dozens of women and girls he raped, assaulted or cruelly dominated over a period of decades. "The Beast of Blenheim" to the journalists who reported, with barely checked incredulity, the crimes alleged during his 1996 trial – beating his heavily pregnant de facto wife unconscious; forcing the same woman to have sex with the family dog; forcing his young daughter to eat her meals from a cat's bowl on the floor; taking a Danish tourist home for a meal only to drug her food and rape her. (Earlier convictions for bigamy, pimping, theft and being a peeping tom hardly seemed worth mentioning.)

But to the lawyers and Parole Board members and the Corrections psychologist at a "section 107" hearing at Rolleston nine days ago he was "Mr Wilson".