A mayor's son has been found guilty of three charges of sexually abusing girls aged under 16.

But despite almost 11 hours of deliberation, the jury at Whangarei District Court was unable to reach a verdict on two other charges - including one of rape - against Bevan Edward Tiller.

The jury of five men and seven women returned their verdicts at 10pm last night and Tiller, 37, of Dargaville, was remanded in custody to June 22.

He was found guilty of two charges of unlawful sexual connection and one of committing an indecent act.


During his trial, the jury were shown a recording of a police interview with Tiller. In it he said had he committed the alleged offences, it could have been while he was sleepwalking.

Tiller said his partner knew he was sleepwalking, a condition he called automatism. Asked what he did while sleepwalking, Tiller replied: "Getting changed for work, making sandwiches, jumping in the car with keys, switching on the TV, switching on the lights, and looking out the window."

Tiller is the son of Kaipara Mayor Neil Tiller who, together with a large group of relatives and family friends, was in court supporting the accused.

Neil Tiller declined to comment on the trial or its outcome.