Bruce Hamish Stenning
From the Southland Times 18th February 2009
Police and the probation service have issued warnings to three North Invercargill schools after a repeat sex offender moved into the neighbourhood. Bruce Hamish Stenning – who has five sex convictions and is considered a high risk of reoffending – moved into a north Invercargill address several weeks ago. The house is in the vicinity of the Southland Adventist Christian School, Sacred Heart School and Donovan Primary School. Invercargill's Community Probation and Psychological Services assistant area manager Glenn Morrison said probation staff and police had told nearby schools and neighbours that a child sex offender had been released from prison, was living nearby and a plan was in place to manage him.
Southland Adventist Christian School principal Gezina Parrish slammed the Parole Board's decision to let Stenning live near a school, saying it lacked common sense and was ridiculous. She had not told her pupils' parents a sex offender was in the neighbourhood because she did not want a mass exodus of pupils or a lynch mob mentality, but she had warned the community in other ways, she said. These included alerting the family of the only child who walked to school that a sex offender lived nearby, telling parents in its February newsletter that a "stranger danger" was living near the school, and warning teachers and children to be vigilant.
A police officer was visiting the school to talk to the children today, she said. A Parole Board spokeswoman said Stenning was being electronically monitored at his new address and could not leave the property without the permission of his probation officer before his sentence ended in May. The latest Parole Board decision to release Stenning to the address says his risk of sexual reoffending is assessed as very high. The board says it is aware his new address is close to two schools and a bus stop but the people living at the address offer him his only support.
"The other matter that needs to be taken into account is that his latest sexual offending did not involve approaching children in a random way on the street. It seems to the board that the real risk is if he enters a relationship with another woman who has children." Stenning, when visited by The Southland Times yesterday, said he had done his time in prison and was now getting on with his life and minding his own business. Stenning's neighbours had mixed reactions about living beside a sex offender when visited by The Southland Times yesterday. Two said they had no concerns because he was a good neighbour, another was frightened by his presence in the community and another said she was not happy and would be even less happy if she had children.
A fifth neighbour said no-one should be locked away forever, but sex offenders should be paraded down the main street for everyone to see. Sacred Heart School principal Peter Forde confirmed authorities had told him last week a sex offender was living in the neighbourhood. He informed the parents of his students by newsletter and asked them to enforce stranger danger rules with their children, he said. Donovan Primary School principal Peter Hopwood also said authorities had told him a sex offender had moved into the neighbourhood. But he had not informed his school community because the probation service had assured him the case was being managed and he did not want to cause a riot, he said.
From the Southland Times 24th February 1999
A MAN who pushed a 14-year-old boy off the Bluff wharf could have killed him, Judge John Strettell, of Christchurch, said in the Invercargill District Court yesterday. Bruce Hamish Stenning, 31, unemployed, was sentenced to two months' periodic detention. The court heard Stenning had been working at Bluff on February 18 and at 5pm took a break and walked down to the wharf where several youths and children were playing.The victim was sitting on a rail on the edge of the wharf with his back to the harbour. Stenning first grabbed the rail and shook it.
When that failed to dislodge the boy, Stenning pushed him in the chest. The boy fell back, hitting his head on the substructure of the wharf before hitting the water. Stenning left the area without offering any assistance to the boy. Counsel Hugo Young said several youths had been jumping off the wharf and Stenning thought it would be a "bit of a joke" to push one in. However, he now accepted it had not been very funny. Judge Strettell said the assault was unusual and had the boy lost consciousness before hitting the water, he could have died.
Date of Birth
Born November 1967
Invercargill at large
Three Strikes Status
Brother of Mark Stenning
Sentenced to 3 years 3 months in March 2007
Released January 2010
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Associated Media Links
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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