GUEST BLOG: Arthur Taylor – How I was framed

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Firstly, I am extremely fortunate to be able to write this blog.  If it was not for the determination of Alan Ritchie (Parole Board Panel Convenor) and Judge Emma Smith (District Court Judge) not to just take as gospel what they were told by the Police and Corrections, but to actually take a long hard look at the proffered ”evidence” and reasons why I needed to be imprisoned as a bail risk and “undue risk” to the public I would still be in a cell at Otago Corrections Facility (known in former days as the “Milton Hilton”) on very serious drug dealing charges.

Normally the Courts and Parole Board do not drill down I too hard into what Corrections and Police sworn statements and submissions and it is quite easy for someone on parole to be recalled to prison on the flimsiest of excuses as many whose lives, and that of their Whanau,  have been disrupted on the flimsiest of excuses can attest.

So where did all this start?  I was ordered out of my own home in Whitby in May last year.  I was not at fault but as the other person involved was not on parole  Corrections had no jurisdiction over them, they acted against me.  I was directed to reside at what I categorise as a dosshouse called (yes literally) The Setup on Manners Street in central Wellington.  

As I quickly discovered the place had many drug addicts and alcoholics living there and was a hotbed of crime, which I was trying to stay far away from.  I tried to spend as little time as possible there.

In short order the MSD property broker responsible for the place, former corrections officer Dean Brosnahan, who was charged with growing cannabis at his home while employed as a manager at Rimutaka prison, sent emails to my probation officer Jayden Southon stating  I was:

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  • Selling drugs from the place.
  • Standing over and intimidating the security staff.
  • Had a constant procession of young girls up to my room day and night.
  • Had “sexually harassed and threatened” 2 “vulnerable” MSD clients staying there.

As I told the parole Board, if I received a recall application with attached affidavit on oath making these claims, I would have ordered my recall. The application was made ex parte which means the only side presented is Corrections and/or the Police’s.  This meant I was unable to make submissions or test the so called “evidence”.

When I eventually got a hearing in July 2020, the allegations were  not able to be substantiated (even on the low standard of proof required by the Board)  so I was released after 6 weeks in Manawatu prison near Palmerston North.  It subsequently eventuated Dean Brosnahan had not been properly vetted when hired by MSD (at the time he was awaiting trial for other serious issues).

He has now been sacked.  Corrections should have known all about Dean Brosnahan as he had left Rimutaka prison under a cloud.

Fast forward nearly 6 months to December 2020 and I am living quite happily in Dunedin with my friend hazel Heal and her family. Even the local probation service concedes there have been no problems with my parole.  On 4 December Corrections makes another ex parte recall application for my recall.  Alan Ritchie refuses to issue a warrant for my arrest …he wants to see evidence, especially in view of his knowledge of the history relating to me.  He was Panel Convenor at the Board that ordered my release in July.

The same cop from the so called “Wellington organised Crime Unit” that appeared at the July hearing had laid 12 charges against me alleging that between February and June 2020 I was a drug dealer (“P” and “GBL”) in Wellington.  

You might find it interesting that I had not been charged earlier as all her allegations relate to police interpretation of what is said in texts…e.g., “organising 10 pigs for the tangi”  is allegedly 10 ounces of methamphetamine!  And “orange juice” is GBL! 

Among the allegations were:

  • CRN 20085004453

On the 12th of April 2020, the defendant was in possession of 8 ounces (226 grams) of the class A controlled drug methamphetamine, for the purpose of supply.

  • CRN 20085004451

On the 24th of April 2020, the defendant supplied 1 litre of the class B controlled drug, Gamma-Butyrolactone.

One major problem with all this is I was not in possession of any methamphetamine – ever – and never supplied any GBL to anyone ever.

No one, apart from this cop on the WOCU, says I did and there is no evidence except these cockamamie interpretations of text messages. Don’t you think if I were really “in possession” of these drugs in April I would have been arrested? Specially as police admit they have had the texts in question since 5 June.  You might now understand why both the parole Board and Court were a teeny bit sceptical about these allegations.

Having been firmly rebuffed on 4 December by Alan Ritchie, Corrections waits another week and makes an ex parte application to Neville Trendle (ex-cop legal adviser who I have had several run ins within the past) who issues a warrant for my arrest on precisely the same charges the made they used as the basis of the rejected ap[plication 4 weeks earlier.

I am arrested on that warrant at my Dunedin home on 12 December and taken straight to prison without a hearing of any kind.  I  suspect it was timed for the Xmas vacation when the courts, lawyers  and everything else an accused person needs are shut down so extremely difficult to get a hearing or justice.

The law requires a full hearing within a month. The Board held mine on 7 January and it went on for 3 hours plus.  The cop who was making the allegations failed to show despite  my requesting she appear for cross-examination.  In the end all we had was hearsay from Corrections.

Corrections hired Sally Carter from Luke, Cunningham and Clere (Chris knows what that cost) to prosecute me.  Sally is a very able and highly experienced lawyer who tried her best make a prize omelette out of a rotten egg.  To no avail as Alan Ritchie chaired the Panel and he was fully aware of what had happened previously.  After hearing the :”evidence” and weighing everything up, I was ordered to be released on 13 January back to my Dunedin home.

I had yet another hurdle to clear before regaining my freedom. I now had to convince the Court to release me on bail.  The Bail Act has a reverse onus where I had to prove I was not going to interfere with witnesses (there are none) apart from police, appear for trial  and not “reoffend”.  There was a mammoth hearing in front of Judge Emma Jones on Friday 8 January where eminent counsel Anne Stevens QC managed to convince her Honour of just that.  

My luck (or good Karma) had held out again and we had a judge who was not prepared to take things at face value and wanted something concrete before, at the age of nearly 65, she was prepared to take yet more of my life away by way of imprisonment.

So here I am back at home, enjoying the beautiful sunshine we have had here in Dunedin after I got out (I see it as the Heavens smiling,  after weeks of rain, that I am free again!)

However, this is not over, I now must defend myself at trial because the WOCU will push on with these charges despite the massive public funds it is going to cost and the waste of previous court time and judicial resources.

The silver lining that came out of this is there was massive public support for me (which I am eternally thankful for)…I received numerous emails at the prison and complete strangers generously donated money.  I am still fearful that, having failed to keep me imprisoned, the WOCU will be sitting back concocting some other “setup” or “frame” to have another go.  

In the meantime, I am incredibly grateful for every day I can sit back enjoying the sunshine and being free and that we have people like Alan Ritchie and Judge Emma Jones willing to uphold fairness and honesty in the judicial/court system no matter if it offends and upsets certain police/corrections staffers.Arthur Taylor 

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Arthur Taylor is TDBs prisoner rights blogger.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Arthur, thank you for sharing. I am sorry to hear about the abuse you have suffered. The planet is awash with corruption and NZ has it’s fair share of arseholes in “power”. Hang in there mate. We need people like you to keep sharing to “keep it real” around here (NZ). All the best mate. Please know that you are not alone 🙂

  2. The police in NZ have always considered themselves a law unto themselves… At 16 years of age, I was charged, and convicted as an adult for three burglaries.. I had been roped in by a friend of my elder sisters boyfriend, to be a “lookout” while he entered the properties in question.. It wasn’t untill we arrived at his first “target” that I realised what i had agreed upon… so you can imagine how frightened, and angry I was to be dragged into a world I had absolutely no experience in.. When my “friend’ disturbed the occupiers in the third house, we were run down by the dog handlers.. and arrested, after having had the wind knocked out of me by the sergeant in charge..
    When it came to court, the police told the judge that It had all been my idea and the older boy,(who had been released from Waikeria only 2 months before, for burglary), which is what he had told them… The up shot is, that i was tried as an adult, and despite my never being even arrested, let alone charged for such crimes, ever again, I still have that conviction on my permanent record, which has severely restricted my ability to travel overseas to pursue my musical career.. I can only assume that there must be tens of thousands of young people whom the police have utterly hamstrung in this way.. Effectively stopping them from having a normal life, regardless of how much effort they put in to build one that has worth and purpose… This is, to me, an example of the underlying fascist ideology that underpins our colonial power structure… If my parents had been wealthy enough to buy good legal representation, i would have beaten the ridiculous charges, but they weren’t, so I was tossed on the scrapheap before i was even grown… It is your effectiveness in exposing this despicable behaviour that has brought you this harassment… All power to you… Here’s to your eventual victory, and compensation…

    • @ Stefan, Shocking!

      I think that youth under 24 years of age should not be tried in an adult court, but youth court. We need to stop punishing youth harshly for stupid mistakes, but instead look at rehabilitation.

      Remember the teenager who was murdered in a prison van on the way to court, or the youth put in prison with a serial rapist who raped him daily. Not acceptable!

      Can the wokies/media stop worrying about the injustice of coffee receipts/waterworld refunds to disgruntled customers and actually concentrate on real news and real victims of crime?

      Media might even get some of their declining viewership back, if they started to report on real issues, that require real investigation, not the same tired hacks going on about the same brainwashing and the “woke a day” story run by some journo who victim friend had a bad day with some perceived slur or deep injustice (water world refund not given to an adult who can’t swim and tries to steal a lifejacket and some youth worker gets it badly wrong with the woke crowd while being filmed getting the life jacket back). The usual ‘bad worker’ story wrecking some ‘poor’ victim’s leisure time who apparently rushed off to the police. Another waste of police resources for that report. If it is anything like modern NZ business, the worker kid was probably censored for any lost property and untrained for his minimum waged job. These days you can read the media daily and it actually sounds exactly the same each day because there is no real news anymore.

      Meanwhile, real victims are silent and real injustices (youth getting criminal records while real criminals getting off and/or working for government) not reported. Have seen little to nothing of this story about (Arthur Taylor and Dean Brosnahan’s deeds and the other people in this story) in the local media and it sounds outrageous!

  3. What a waste of our taxes. Authur our systems are mickey mouse. I’ve had some runs in with parole system and some of the judges are shocking they don’t like being challenged even when they are in the wrong or have made a mistake. Then when they apologise its half hearted. We need changes our justice system is fucked up and I can say this as a victim who has attended around 6 paroles. As for some of our police some need a boot up the arse they can be personal and vindictive. And when they have it in for ya they will go all out to get people. Many of our judges are old farts and need to retire they have benefitted of the misery of others. The entire justice system needs a complete over haul but will that happen, nah don’t think so. The pettyness you have spoken about Authur regarding the timing of being detained highlights the bullshit in our entire justice system. And yet we like to see ourselves in our country as being fair and people having access to justice when this is not the case.

    • Some of the “Old Fart” judges are used to police chasing a conviction as their prime motive and see through it. They can be allies to those who are victimised by police corruption.

      There are many good cops but many who get rapid promotion do so on scoring up convictions regardless. Cops can lie repeatedly and there should be an internal monitoring of police honesty. The ones who lie then need to identified and the bastards kicked out.
      Fighting crime may be tough at times and not without personal risk but if police are dishonest then public respect and support falls away.

      I personally know a father who gave detectives information strictly in confidence and never to be used in court or it would put his son at risk. His son was being threatened with concrete slippers as water wings as he could not meet payment demanded of him, that he did not owe.
      The cops took that spoken evidence, presented it in court in combination with other stand over evidence, and the son had to move away to a small town where a relative lived some 300 kms away and keep off the electoral role. He lived in constant fear.
      So never trust a cop with information is the lesson learned at great cost to a young persons life prospects.
      But it didn’t end there. He was couriered a parcel of cannabis which he refused to accept. The “Courier’ was an undercover cop. Later that day while he was out the parcel was stuffed through a partly opened window.

      He arrived home and then was raided and got jail as he couldn’t afford a lawyer and the legal aid lawyer got him to agree to something to get him off but instead that was used to jail him.
      Meanwhile his family found out and then found a lawyer who was not scared of police and he took the case on and had the conviction quashed. With travel from a city centre the lawyers visits jail and court appearances cost $10 grand that the family could not afford .
      The resentment by the justice system means he has been raided since although he has never had cannabis since he was 14 years when his mate got caught and roped him in. He got that cleared up but it would appear such things lay in the system and in-spite of public reassurances are not removed entirely from the system in all its forms , written, digital and anecdotal word of mouth, and any of which may be acted upon by some viscous low life cop who needs to be exposed publicly but remains protected. Planting evidence and courts believing lies from cops is a dangerous brew that stuffs up lives. Do tax payers pay for such criminality in the Police force.

  4. Gobsmacked but really not surprised. How can these arseholes get away with this shit?
    Oh that’s right they have the “law”on their side and the NZ POlice NEVER tell lies.
    Right ho! Got it! Enjoy your freedom.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Arthur… we continually hold out hope that the corrupt Police who framed Arthur Thomas will be held to account… even posthumously if necessary. We also dream of the day police informer Karl Lobb will be prosecuted for his lies under oath in the Thomas Royal Commission.. instructed to lie by Police Counsel.. shocking and just like Roberto Conche Harris. So Lobb gets away with killing our brother 11/11/11 because it links to the covered up Crewe case… ask Mike Kalaugher.. he knows how serious this is. Keep holding your head up high.. the truth will always come out eventually!

  6. I expect you will laugh but I do think you should set the facts out and send them to the IPCA – yes I know they are pretty crap but people still need to register their dissatisfaction.

    Our police culture is dreadful and many of us know this. I have always quite liked Poto Williams but I am not sure that she has the necessary grunt to change things. I generally think that the job of the police minister is to say how bloody wonderful the police are.

    Just listened to the young man who was homeless on radio NZ and now writes a regular blog and he was talking about the problem with the police and where they come from, the sort of middle class backgrounds – they go in far too young without any real life experience.

  7. Thanks for this post. Very happy that the judge was on the ball and saw the set up for what it was.

    I thankfully have only one experience with a friend going through the justice system and probation and fuck me, Yikes, if police/probation want to convict you or not care about you (friend young, male, Maori), the police/justice/probation system is a hot bed of incompetence, injustice and stupidity. Needs urgent reform. NOW!

    Apparently court prosecutors have to turn with zero information much of the time and rely on piles of shit prepared for them they only read that morning, to convict people. Much of the information supplied is not exactly accurate (especially probation information) but you need to be rich/lucky enough to afford a real lawyer to dispute it. Prosecutors have a high burn out rate, possibly because they are aware they are convicting the wrong people much of the time.

    There are real criminals out there, but it’s seems easier to concentrate on those who speak out against the system and try to make it better, or who are victims of the system, than actually take down those who work the system as career criminals who actually commit real crimes against real victims, but get away with it!

    Sounds like more tax dollars down the gurgler, let alone the disgusting injustice of trying to lock someone up, because someone in power, sees them as a threat to be punished and persecuted repeatedly.

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