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Career criminal denied parole again

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/03/2017

Career criminal and prison litigant Arthur William Taylor has been denied parole once again.

Taylor, 60, has spent about 39 of the last 45 years in prison, having been convicted of more than 150 various charges.

He currently has five-and-a-half-years left of a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for firearms offences, escaping custody, kidnapping and dealing meth. He has applied for parole more than a dozen times.

At a hearing last week, Taylor told the Parole Board he'd made significant progress in the past few years, saying his behaviour had vastly improved, and that he'd been well behaved since October 2014, a stark contrast to the 90 incidents in the two years prior.

However, the Board found the Taylor still had a moderate risk of future violent offending and a high risk of general offending.

It had previously recommended Taylor complete a Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme, but he had not done so.

Taylor acknowledged his "appalling criminal history" but said the programme was not right for him, and that it would interfere with his legal work.

Taylor has become somewhat of a crusader for prisoners' rights in recent years, successfully challenging Corrections' decision to ban smoking in prisons in 2013.

He also managed to obtain a declaration from the High Court that a law banning prisoners from voting was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act - although the ban remains in place.

The Parole Board will consider his release again in March next year, with an updated psychological risk assessment.

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