Police joked following 'Beast of Blenheim' attack

Stewart Murray Wilson was dubbed 'the Beast of Blenheim' after being convicted of multiple rapes...
Stewart Murray Wilson was dubbed 'the Beast of Blenheim' after being convicted of multiple rapes in 1996. Photo: Supplied/NZME
A woman says detectives joked and treated her "like a piece of scum" just hours after the Beast of Blenheim tried to rape her in the 1970s.

Twenty years later, in 1996, as Stewart Murray Wilson went to trial, she again went to police but charges weren't laid.

Now, 42 years after the Beast of Blenheim attacked, her story is finally believed.

Earlier this week, Wilson was found guilty of more historical sex offences from the 1970s and early 80s.

After a suppressed week-long trial in the High Court at Auckland, he was convicted of raping a woman, a then 9-year-old girl, and the attempted rape of a woman.

It is Wilson's third victim, whom he attacked in Auckland during December 1976, who says police officers mistreated her and failed to take her allegations seriously.

Her night of horror began after she responded to a classified newspaper ad Wilson had placed.

The two decided to meet, but something wasn't right.

"I just didn't like the look of him – a strange looking person," she said during Wilson's trial last week.

However, Wilson would force the woman back to his Mt Eden flat.
There he attacked her.

Stewart Murray Wilson, pictured at an earlier court appearance in 2013. Photo: NZME
Stewart Murray Wilson, pictured at an earlier court appearance in 2013. Photo: NZME
Her arm was pulled around her back, behind a chair, and back over the top of her head.

"My arm was swinging in two pieces, out of its socket," she said.

Wilson then demanded his victim go to the bedroom and remove her clothes.

"I didn't want any more hidings so I just did what I was told to do, I just obeyed," she said.

"[But] I wanted to find a chance of escaping.

"He saw my go past the bed and he said 'where are you going, get back in that bed'."

The woman said Wilson, now 72, had an "angry look in his eye".

"If you don't behave yourself I'll have to give you a hiding," she said Wilson told her.

He then punched her in the face, fracturing her jaw.

Even today the effects of the injury are still felt, she said.

Wilson then offered her a "lime drink".

"Drink it, it'll make you relax," he said.

The woman recalled feeling sleepy and drifting in and out of consciousness.

"He just lay there watching me, just looking at me ... I don't remember anything from that time until I woke up in the morning."

It was during this time Wilson tried to rape her, the court heard and the jury concluded.

When she woke Wilson had breakfast waiting on the table.

"I couldn't eat I couldn't drink I felt sick, I felt sick just looking at the sight of the food," she said.

Wilson said he wanted his victim to return later for dinner.

"I had to say yes to get away," she said.

"I knew I had to do something to get away from his house."

She left in a taxi but the driver insisted she report the monstrous man.

"I'm taking you straight to the police station not home," the cabbie said.

She arrived at the Onehunga police station and said officers were "quite sympathetic" before she was transferred to the Auckland central police station to be interviewed.

While there, she says, police "treated me like sh*t".

"How was it? Did you enjoy it? What was it like? Was it great?" She said police joked and asked her.

Officers didn't offer her water or food while she was there, nor did they provide any medical assistance for her injuries, she added.

"They treated me like shit, treated me like [I was] dirty. No feeling, no nothing, just like I was a piece of scum.

"And then just sent me off down the road."

Police had taken her clothes for testing, she said, but when her garments were returned a detective threw the clothes to her lounge floor.

"Don't call us, we'll call you," she said an officer told her.

However, former police detective, Thomas Bryan, also gave evidence at trial and recalled being the officer who returned the clothes.

Under cross-examination he said he found the suggestion the clothes were thrown on the ground "really inappropriate".

"I personally handed those [to her], and I can assure you that's not in my DNA to throw things at a person," he said.

When asked about the allegations of police misconduct at the station, the retired cop said allegations of rape are "taken probably more seriously now" than in the 1970s.

Stewart Murray Wilson has been living at his cottage on the grounds of Whanganui Prison. Photo: NZME
Stewart Murray Wilson has been living at his cottage on the grounds of Whanganui Prison. Photo: NZME
Wilson's victim made another complaint to police in 1996 when Wilson infamously went to trial, but charges were only laid after she was re-interviewed again in 2016.

When police re-investigated Wilson two years ago they were unable to find any paperwork of the women's complaint from 1976.

One of Wilson's other victims, who was raped after Wilson hid in kitchen cupboard while police searched her home, also said she approached detectives in 1996.

"I knew it would help me to tell my story instead of keeping it all bottled up inside," the woman said.

"I was told [by police] Murray Wilson couldn't be charged at that time [for the crimes against me] because he was already on charges."

Wilson was sentenced in 1996 to 21 years' imprisonment for sex and violence offences against women and girls, as well as charges of stupefying and bestiality.

In 2012, he was subjected to an extended supervision order and released with the most stringent conditions ever imposed on a New Zealander, including being paroled to a two-bedroom house which had been moved onto the Whanganui Prison grounds.

In a statement, Detective Inspector Scott Beard told the Herald it would be inappropriate for police to comment on the women's evidence about officer misconduct before Wilson's sentencing next month.

"Getting justice for the victims in this matter is our priority and we do not want to do anything to jeopardise that," he said.
 

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