Accused paedophile denied bail

A prominent Kaitaia businessman facing 22 charges of sexual offending against boys has again been denied bail after a judge ruled he could try to make complainants change their stories.

Daniel Luke Taylor, 37, appeared for a bail application before Judge John McDonald in the Kaitaia District Court today.

Taylor was originally remanded in custody by Judge Greg Davis following his arrest. He was further remanded in custody today till January 31, when he is due to appear for a post-committal hearing.

The application for electronically-monitored bail (e-bail) proposed that Taylor live at a rural residence outside Kaikohe.

However, Judge McDonald said that would not prevent further offending, as a remand in custody would. Nor would it prevent Taylor from making contact with witnesses, the judge said.

"On the face of it he deliberately went about gaining the confidence of these families and boys so he could carry out the sexual activity alleged.

"He has shown a careful and devious mind. He knows that the case against him substantially relies on the word of six young complainants, and I consider there is still a risk of him trying to get one or more of those complainants to change their story."

Police prosecutor Duncan Coleman had again opposed the granting of bail, telling Judge McDonald there had been no change in circumstances since November 15, when Taylor dramatically collapsed in the dock before being led away for medical attention.

Mr Coleman said police still regarded the risk of Taylor interfering with witnesses as high.

The offending, which had allegedly taken place over a five-year period from 2007, had involved systematic grooming of the victims, who were still susceptible and vulnerable to his influence.

Taylor's lawyer, John Munro, who saw the alleged potential for interfering with witnesses as the prime ground for opposing bail, argued that his client had no previous convictions and no bail record to suggest that he would be a risk.

Taylor had known on September 25 that he was under investigation, but had not been charged until November 15. He had made no contact with potential witnesses over that period, and in fact had removed himself from situations where he might have been seen as interfering.

"He did all the right things," Mr Munro said.

"The court can be confident that he can be relied upon not to breach any conditions of bail."

- The Northland Age

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