But he's behind bars convicted of arson and child abuse

Allan Titford - convicted rapist, arsonist and child abuser - has a new partner and is a father again.

Titford, 53, has a 1-year-old child with Marcian Thomas, 42. The former farmer rose to prominence battling the Government and Northland iwi Te Roroa during a Waitangi Treaty claim over his farm at Maunganui Bluff, northwest of Dargaville.

This week he was sentenced to 24 years in jail with no minimum non-parole period on 39 charges, mostly related to violence towards his then-wife, Susan Cochrane, and their children, between 1987 and 2009.


In August 2012, Titford and Thomas had a baby boy while Titford was on bail awaiting trial.

Thomas' mother, Annie Daly of Waihi, has mixed feelings about Titford, but said she felt sorry for her grandson who she knew would be missing his father.

"He loved his dad and, any time I went to visit them when they were here at Waihi, he was always by his dad." The couple had lived in the Waikato town while Titford was on bail, but Thomas had moved to Northland to be nearer him.

"I don't think he's as bad as what he's been made out to be," Daly said. "I quite like him in a way, but he tells a lot of b******* and you've got to pick out what's true and what's not. I do quite like him, but I'm a bit wary."

He had never attacked her daughter, who had three grown children.

Cochrane said she feels guilty for not speaking out earlier. "I didn't protect my children when they were little." But she also feels some guilt for the ongoing impacts on the family. "He's my children's dad, and he's locked away. That's not nice for them to know about their father."

Thomas declined to comment and Titford maintains his innocence.

- with the Northern Advocate

Candidate an inmate

Allan Titford stood unsuccessfully for Far North Mayor in the October local government elections.

His campaign material said he was "anti corruption at all levels" and had experience dealing with authorities and business.

Little did voters know - especially the 414 who gave him their tick - he was behind bars.

Titford was arrested on November 11, 2010. A jury trial began in the Whangarei District Court on September 1 this year, after he'd put his name forward for the mayoralty. On October 1 he was convicted on 39 charges, some involving sex and violence spanning more than two decades.

But the law doesn't stop a person convicted of a crime from standing for public office until he or she is sentenced and imprisoned, and Titford's name remained on the mayoral candidate list. His alleged crimes became public knowledge at his sentencing on Tuesday. On that date, even if he had been elected, he would have become ineligible for office. A spokeswoman for Local Government Minister Chris Tremain said Titford's situation was so unusual the minister did not consider a law change necessary.