Monday, May 9, 2016

Taylor prosecutes.secret witness.

I only became aware of Arthur Taylor prosecuting a secret witness this morning. The link is provided below.

My initial thoughts were something along the lines...of what the hell. Later I realised Taylor's efforts might give rise to resolving 2 other cases, that of Watson and Lundy as well as his current case involving the secret witness who has been charged with giving perjured evidence against the released lifer David Tamahere details of which are included in the link.

First off when thinking about secret witnesses lying it's important to remember that they are provided the opportunity by willing police who feel that without the secret witness they may not gain a conviction. In the case of Arthur Thomas the secret witness was called at the Royal Commission to reveal that Thomas had confessed to him. So in Thomas, not strictly to gain a conviction, but rather to recover lost police credibility. We don't know what favours the secret witness in Tamahere gained, but certainly it's clear he perjured himself, evidenced by the body found later by police buried with no injuries to the head - conflicting with the secret witnesses claim that Tamahere had confessed to bashing the man's head before dumping the body at sea. That's an inventive tale and I will be interested if it emerges who assisted with details of that story, particularly about the watch referred to in the link.

I've blogged here earlier about the Watson case coming to a standstill in part because the police could not find their secret witness who recanted. In fairness, if a police case fails to stand up it is not the responsibility of the convicted person to produce the police witness but the other way around. In the Watson and Lundy case both reflect a vulnerability of coming prosecutions coming undone because of the secret witnesses they used. In my opinion it was just plain dumb for Grantham to rely on a secret witness. But the impression is that he did so soon after the PC ordered Lundy's conviction quashed was because he panicked. The reality is that he was jumping from the pan to the fire because Lundy's conviction relies in part on a secret witness who like the one of the secret witnesses in the Watson case could also recant.

I can predict that Taylor will not let his private prosecution go until he succeeds. This will bring into focus why police did not prosecute the witness themselves on the discovery of Hoglin's body in circumstances opposite in every detail to what the witness had said. Other problems present in that the witness may plead not guilty and claim entrapment of some sort by police and the deal they did with him. Taylor's move is to be welcomed if it opens the lid on a number of cases where secret witness have clearly worked with police and lied in Court. It may also provide a fast track for remedying the retrial of Lundy should someone, alleged that Pang Attempted to Pervert the Course of Justice in the Lundy case in the specific area of his changing times of death of the deceased.

Watson is equally interesting in that the witness who has recanted and who the police 'can't find,' could well be privately charged with perjury in circumstances where the prosecution sought no penalty by view of the witnesses recantation.

Suddenly, a number of cases that were carefully kept in isolation have a common denominator which could see a falling skittles affect. The sheer irony of scrutiny coming about because of a serving prisoner is not lost on this commentator. Arthur Taylor who was taking away from his parents at a young age for being a truant and who when entering state care went on like 80% of his peer group to become a criminal touches irony to the extreme should he become part of the dis-assembly of a number of what appear to be false convictions arising from injustices committed by the same authorities.

I have had conversations with others recently over the apparent reluctance of some Lawyers to argue cases on appeal which have possible undercurrents of accused or convicted people being poorly represented in one way or another at trial. Some have referred to it as an old boy's club thing. Well Taylor owes nothing to that club and is not confused about his task at hand, fairness and justice for all.

Not surprisingly I have thought about Vivian Thomas, Arthur's ex wife, this morning and how as the result of police refusing to charge Hutton with planting evidence in that case - Vivian went to her grave having never received an apology from police for their claim that she had fed the baby Rochelle after the murders and before the discovery of her parent's bodies. ... d=11635525


  1. The credibility of any witness in any case, is always a challenging proposition for those that are in a position to judge. The fact that a Jailbird gives testimony is no better or worse or more accurate, than any other witness in other circumstances! Because quite frankly it could be the truth, or not?
    In this case knowing "hips" as I'm sure you remember, would be nothing close to credible, which really begs the question. How on earth was his testimony given any weight? Were the lawyers involved incompetent?
    Anyhow, keep up the good work.

  2. I was around 99% satisfied of that identity so thanks for the confirmation. At the moment it appears a number of lines are crossing, each enriching and informing the other toward progress on a number of stubborn cases that appear to be Miscarriages of Justice. Obviously, I am keen to help out as I can, including helping the public understand how the passage of Justice has been distorted to the point that truth has flown out the window - but will return to a gentle rest from where it has been pushed away. Cheers.

  3. Justice is a funny thing I've worked out. Sometimes you go right but are wrong? Or do wrong? Sometimes you're right but are wrong? But do right? Anyhow, cheers.

  4. I had a mate years ago called Hutch?

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. In response to unknown;Not too sure as to whom you refer to as 'hips',but does the name xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx ring any bells

    May 22, 2016 at 2:02 AM

  7. Yes, that's who 'hips' is. His name is suppressed and so I have removed it from your post.

  8. cool...I'm in touch with Arthur about this one.Still aw8ng the decision of the judge.,under s 26 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.By the way Arthur is always interested in your blog posts.

  9. Thanks anonymous. I'm very keen for Arthur to move on with his life, build on the already impressive contribution he has made to the Law and perhaps have a hand in some of the more controversial cases where there look to be wrongful convictions. I can see with the Tamihere case that is where he is heading, at least in a preliminary way. His life is shaping into 2 distinct patterns now, he is being seen as an intelligent and determined advocate with a rare understanding of the law that is overcoming a tough past. Normally, I would say he should be congratulated for that but I'm in fact looking forward to him establishing himself in an advocate's practice some where and carrying on his work in a more formal way - then I'll congratulate him, And of course share a good laugh as we were always able to do - even when the chips were down. He's a good man.

  10. Just an update. Secret Witness 'C' appears before the High Court at Auckland for a one day hearing next Thursday 29th September. I've got a reasonable chance of having his name suppression lifted, and exposing the gutter rat at long last. The public will be horrified when they realise that the Crown Prosecutor and Police put someone like this as a witness of truth.Strangely the Crown Prosecutor, whom one would think would be representing the interest of justice, has filed a massive brief supporting name suppression to remain. Not only do I have to 'shoot' down secret witness 'c's taxpayer-funded lawyer, Chris Wilkinson-Smith... I've also got to battle the Crown, who have unlimited resources. You can draw you own conclusion as to why the Crown wants his identity secret.

  11. The Crown Prosecutor has to defend the alleged perjurer as one of his own. I wonder how the public interest is served and what for. The alleged perjurer is a lifer twice recalled, a professional informer. He is known in his own circles as an informer so why the public should not know his name some decades after the fact beggars belief. If he is in danger that is the case whether is name is known or not and has been for a long time. However the man he offered false testimony against agrees with the name being known in the interests of transparency and accountability. The alleged perjurer has been separated as a informer so 1000s of people already know that and his identity, I don't think the the public interest is served by his identity remaining secret. What there is to protect is the dubious employment of other such operatives in the future. On that basis the public interest is served by it being widely known that should any of this type of witness lie, as appears to be the case here, they will not be protected with name suppression which now has a high threshold of Judicial and legislative resistance to overcome. His being named is one small guarantee that such witnesses won't lie because they will know they could be charged - that serves the public interest and those they falsely accuse. A not insignificant point is that many, many, witnesses given immunity from prosecution have been named and that is something the Court must consider - ie, what difference is there between the 2 categories of 'special' witnesses. None really.