Court of Appeal denies Taylor’s bid for release from prison

Arthur Taylor (64) has appeared before the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal in the...
Arthur Taylor (64) has appeared before the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal in the past week. PHOTO: ODT FILES
High-profile inmate Arthur Taylor has failed again to secure his release from prison.

His habeas corpus application — essentially arguing unlawful detention — was turned down by the High Court last week and the Court of Appeal, which heard Taylor’s appeal on Monday came to the same conclusion.

The self-schooled jailhouse lawyer was interim recalled to prison on December 11 after police provided the Parole Board with details about a slew of drug charges they would lay, as well as transcripts and telephone calls he allegedly made.

Taylor argued that decision was unlawful, since the board’s panel convener Alan Ritchie had declined a recall application a week earlier and there had been no material change of circumstances to warrant another hearing.

He told the Court of Appeal yesterday that the result of the improper process followed had subjected him to arbitrary detention contrary to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

Justices Mark Cooper, Denis Clifford and David Goddard ruled the hearing of the second recall application was lawful.

"We consider that the narrative included in the summary of facts, which put flesh on the bare bones of the charges referred to before Mr Ritchie, and in particular the new information ... about the significant quantities of drugs to which those charges relate, is reasonably capable of being seen as new information relevant to an assessment of the risk to community safety posed by Mr Taylor," said Justice Cooper.

It was not for the Court of Appeal, he said, to express a view on whether the new information the Parole Board received was enough to have Taylor locked up.

He pleaded not guilty to a range of serious charges when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court last week.

Taylor is accused of three counts of supplying gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), three of offering to supply it, supplying methamphetamine, offering to supply methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for supply, two counts of conspiring to supply methamphetamine, and obtaining by deception – all of which allegedly took place between February and June, when he was living in Wellington.

He will see the Parole Board again next month, when it will determine whether he will continue serving his 17-and-a-half-year prison term.

Taylor’s troubles

4-12-20: Parole Board declines the 
interim recall order to put Taylor back 
behind bars
11-12-20: Parole Board grants interim 
recall order with new information about 
his charges
16-12-20: The High Court dismisses a 
habeas corpus application
17-12-20: Sir Ron Young declines to 
review interim recall decision



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