Taylor an 'appreciable risk'

A Kaitaia man described by Judge Greg Davis in the Kaitaia District Court last week as appearing to have conducted a campaign of grooming young boys was denied bail.

Judge Davis said 37-year-old Daniel Luke Taylor, who until recently was the vice-chairman of the Kaitaia Business Association, presented a "real and appreciable" risk of further offending were he to be released from custody.

He will next appear in Kaitaia on December 18, on 19 charges of indecent assaults on boys aged under 12, 12 to 16 and 16 years and over. One alternative charge of attempted unlawful sexual connection has also been laid. No pleas have yet been entered.

The final stages of the bail application were heard in the accused's absence, Taylor collapsing after spending an hour standing in the dock flanked by police officers. He was carried from the dock to the cells by three constables, the court adjourning while staff called an ambulance.

When the hearing resumed counsel David James said his client was receiving the treatment he needed, and that his condition was not believed to be serious.

Bail was opposed by police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Brocas, on the grounds that Taylor had apparently been making plans to leave for Australia prior to his arrest, after he became aware that his alleged offending was under investigation, and that that suggested a risk of flight.

Police were also concerned that he would make contact with his alleged victims - five of whom were known to police - while investigations were continuing into matters involving a sixth, and with the potential for Taylor to continue offending. Some of those who had made their observations of Taylor's offending known to him had done nothing to prevent further offending, Sergeant Brocas said.

Four of the identified complainants opposed the granting of bail, while police believed other complainants were more likely to come forward if the accused was in custody.

Mr James mounted a rebuttal of the police opposition, arguing that the charges were moderately serious as opposed to very serious - there seemed to be a culture in "this group" of touching each other as described in the summary of facts, he said - and there was no reason to suspect that Taylor would not answer bail or would attempt to influence witnesses.

Sergeant Brocas argued that Taylor had embarked upon a process of grooming young boys, to the point where last year he had been approved by CYF as a caregiver. There could be a case for electronic bail, he added, but "If he's in custody we know where he is".

- Northland Age

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