16 Oct 2018

Revealed: Man found guilty of historical rapes is the 'Beast of Blenheim'

9:24 pm on 16 October 2018

Stewart Murray Wilson, the serial rapist infamously known as the 'Beast of Blenheim', has been found guilty of more rapes.

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Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

The 71-year-old has been before the High Court in Auckland since last Monday, defending a number of charges relating to the rape of three women and a girl nearly 50 years ago.

After 7 hours of deliberations Wilson, who had name suppression for the duration of the trial, was found guilty of 11 charges including rape, attempted rape and indecency with a girl under 12.

A jury of six men and six women found him not guilty of two charges of rape and one charge of indecent assault.

They couldn't agree on two other charges, one of indecent assault and one of threatening to kill, for which Justice Lang discharged Wilson.

Wilson was jailed for 21 years in March 1996 for violent sexual attacks on women and girls throughout a two and a half decade period.

His convictions include rape, bestiality, stupefying and ill-treatment of children.

The serial rapist has served every day of his 21-year sentence but still lives on the Whanganui Prison ground - outside the wire - on an extended supervision order with stringent conditions.

He was charged again in 2017 in relation to sexual offending against three women and a 9-year-old girl in the 1970s.

Throughout the week-long trial a jury of six men and six women, who weren't told about his previous offending, heard from four complainants who each told them they were raped by Wilson at different times.

One of the complainants said Wilson had broken into her home and subjected her to repeated rapes throughout the night.

Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said Wilson created opportunities to be alone with the women so he could sexually assault them.

He said he controlled them with violence or threats of violence and these were common themes throughout the women's accounts that strengthened their evidence.

Wilson's chin quivered as each of the verdicts were read out this afternoon.

Afterwards, Justice Lang told the jurors about Wilson's previous history and said the offending exposed in the 1996 trial and the trial they were in now happened in the same time period and had very similar characteristics.

Wilson was remanded in custody for sentencing on November 29.