A Northland farmer jailed for a raft of offences - including rape, assault and arson - has lost his latest bid to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Allan Titford was jailed for 24 years in 2013 after being found guilty of 39 charges, principally of rape and assaulting children with weapons, perjury, obstructing justice, arson, and recklessly discharging a firearm. He was acquitted of 14 charges including rape, arson and threatening to kill.

The farmer denied the offending and went to the Appeal Court in 2017, arguing he was unfit to stand trial. He lost that appeal and subsequently took his case to the Supreme Court, where he applied for an extension of the time limit to file another appeal against the conviction and sentence to the Supreme Court arguing there was a miscarriage of justice.

But in a decision released this week the Supreme Court - the highest court in the country - has rejected his application.


The court said the first branch of the application is based on what Titford says are inadequacies in the defence at trial and the second relates to the fact all of the charges were heard together. The Supreme Court rejected both of those.

The application for leave also included a number of other grounds which were not raised in the Court of Appeal.

''We are not satisfied there is a demonstrable risk of a miscarriage of justice that has gone uncorrected on the first appeal in relation to any of these grounds. Rather, they relate to fact-specific issues dealt with at trial,'' the Supreme Court judgment said.

''For completeness, we note that while the application for leave referred to a proposed appeal against sentence, that aspect was not pursued in Mr Titford's written submissions. The Court of Appeal dealt with the sentence appeal and concluded the sentence was not manifestly excessive. There is nothing to indicate any risk of a miscarriage of justice in the approach taken by the Court.''

A former Far North mayoral candidate, Titford rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s as he battled the Crown over a farm he owned at Maunganui Bluff.

The Waitangi Tribunal recommended the farm be returned to local iwi. As part of his campaign, Titford burnt down a house on his property and blamed it on iwi.