Arthur William TAYLOR 14/7/2020
Application for recall
Under section 60(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Arthur William TAYLOR
Hearing: 14 July 2020
at Manawatu Prison
by AVL from New Zealand Parole Board, Wellington
Members of the Board: Alan Ritchie (Panel Convenor), Mr J Thomson, Mr B McMurray
Counsel: (if applicable) Ms S Carter for Applicant
Mr J Southon (Probation Officer)
Mr B McNamara (Probation Officer
Mr C Clarke (New Zealand Police)
Mr S Kennedy (New Zealand Police)
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- The Board has considered an application for Arthur William Taylor, 63, to be recalled from parole to prison to continue serving his effective sentence of 17 years six months for conspiring to deal in methamphetamine, possessing morphine and cannabis oil for supply, unlawful possession of a firearm, kidnapping and other offending.
- There is an extensive criminal history dating back to 1972.
- Mr Taylor was released on parole on 11 February 2019 with standard and special conditions to continue until the statutory release date of 12 June 2022.
- This application has been made by Probation Officer, Mr Southon, who cited the ground available under section 61(a) of the Parole Act i.e. undue risk to community safety.
- The Department was represented by Ms Carter. Mr Southon was in attendance as was a Departmental Acting Assistant Manager, Ms McNamara.
- Mr Taylor was unrepresented but he was supported by his friend and (withheld).
- In an affidavit attached to the application, Mr Southon deposed to various situations he thought to be of concern. Those included a breach of rules and allegations of aggressive and intimidating behaviour towards staff and residents at Mr Taylor's Wellington accommodation. That accommodation had been approved by the Ministry of Social Development on 27 May 2020.
- Mr Southon deposed to information from the Ministry of Social Development and the accommodation provider about repeated breach of building rules by Mr Taylor (withheld).
- Mr Southon referred to concern by the building manager that Mr Taylor appeared to be distributing drugs from the property.
- The Ministry of Social Development had advised on 4 June 2020 that Mr Taylor would not be granted any further emergency housing due to the risk he would continue to present to other vulnerable people placed in emergency housing.
- In a further affidavit sworn on 19 June 2020, Mr Southon has deposed to further information from the police about Mr Taylor being found in possession of methamphetamine when the police arrested him on 6 June 2020 on the interim recall warrant made in response to this application. Mr Southon referred to a police summary of facts in that regard.
- In an affidavit sworn on 30 June 2020 Ms McNamara has annexed statements from three police officers relating to the arrest of Mr Taylor on that interim warrant.
- In her written submissions, Ms Carter noted the factors relevant to the assessment of Mr Taylor's risk as including his history of serious offending, recent alleged offending, the lack of a suitable address, lack of engagement with Community Corrections (including in relation to employment) and breaches of his conditions. She outlined each of those factors in some detail and said that the Board could be satisfied that Mr Taylor posed an undue risk which could not be appropriately managed in the community. A final recall order was requested.
- Mr Taylor has also provided written submissions. He has been vehement in his denial of all relevant allegations made against him. Indeed, he has described it all as fiction and falsehood.
- It is fair to say that we were not necessarily persuaded by some of the information provided by the police in the written statements. That, of course, is for the Courts to resolve. We note that Mr Taylor has pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of methamphetamine and breach. We understand that he is due to appear next in the District Court (withheld). Our understanding is that he is remanded at large by the Court.
- The pivotal question for us is whether risk to community safety is undue. Our assessment of all of the information as it stands before us today is that the risk is undue. For that reason we are satisfied that grounds are made out and that there should be a final recall order. Having reached that position, however, we have considered whether that level of risk could be sufficiently mitigated by a revision of conditions.
- We have had a very good discussion on that aspect of this application with Ms Carter, Mr Taylor and (withheld) and, during proceedings, we took two adjournments to allow the parties to discuss matters freely amongst themselves.
- What emerged following that process was a general acceptance that risk could be appropriately managed. The Board was significantly persuaded that a large part of the mitigation would be the removal of Mr Taylor from the Wellington environment and into accommodation provided by (withheld). We rate her as a pro-social individual who could be relied on to be firm with Mr Taylor when necessary.
- With the making of a final recall order, the “specified period" as defined in section 29B(7) of the Parole Act is reactivated. The benefit of that is that the Board is able to continue a process of monitoring of compliance with conditions by Mr Taylor. The special circumstances justifying that relate, of course, to the circumstances of this application. One of the special conditions to be attached to the parole will be a direction that Mr Taylor attend a face-to-face meeting with the Board in January 2021. Ahead of that hearing there will be a full report on compliance from the Department. At that hearing the Board will be considering the effectiveness of the conditions we are now setting and whether they should be eased, continued or added to. In the meantime both the Department and Mr Taylor are entitled to apply for variation should the circumstances justify such a step.
- There will be electronic monitoring of the whereabouts condition which will relate to the Greater Wellington Region. The condition will provide that there can be exceptions when there is prior written approval provided by the Department. That will take care of any requirements of Mr Taylor to attend Court hearings should they remain set in Wellington.
- Another of the conditions will relate to drugs and we reiterate advice to Mr Taylor of his obligation to submit to the monitoring or testing of compliance with that condition when directed by an authorised person.
- Mr Taylor will be released on 20 July 2020. He will be subject to the standard conditions set out in section 14 of the Parole Act and to the following special conditions with all conditions continuing until the statutory release date.
- The special conditions are:
(1) To reside at (withheld) or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer and not to move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer;
(2) Not to enter the Greater Wellington Region as specified by a Probation Officer in writing unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer;
(3) To submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a Probation Officer in order to monitor your compliance with any conditions relating to your whereabouts;
(4) To comply with the requirements of electronic monitoring and provide unimpeded access to your approved residence by a Probation Officer or representatives of the monitoring company for the purpose of maintaining the electronic monitoring equipment as directed by a Probation Officer;
(5) To be at your approved address between the hours of 10.00 pm and 6.00 am daily except where you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer;
(6) Not to possess, use or consume controlled drugs or psychoactive substances except controlled drugs prescribed for you by a health professional;
(7) To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting or changing your position or place of employment (including voluntary and unpaid work) and to notify a Probation Officer if you leave your position of employment;
(8) To attend a psychological assessment and attend, participate in and complete any programme, treatment or counselling as may be recommended by such assessment to the satisfaction of a Probation Officer and relevant service provider;
(9) To undertake any other counselling, treatment or programmes as may be directed by a Probation Officer;
(10) Not to have contact or otherwise associate with any victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer;
(11) To comply with any direction made under section 29B(2)(b) of the Parole Act 2002 to attend a hearing in January 2021 at a particular time and place to be notified to you.