Prominent prison barrister Arthur Taylor has embarked on a new career, his first legitimate job since 2004.
Additionally, the electronically monitored ankle bracelet strapped to Taylor’s right leg will be removed Monday morning, officially ending his 17-year-and-seven-month sentence for various offenses.
“It’s the mark of a modern-day outcast,” he said of the anklet.
He had seen mothers pushing their children away from being near him at the beach, because of the visible bracelet.
* Former prisoner Arthur Taylor demands $1 million for his prison conditions
* Roberto Conchie Harris, murderer and infamous perjurer of ‘Witness C’, dies in prison
* Wanted fugitive James Bryant appears in court after helicopter getaway
“There’s a common misconception that only sex offenders have it.”
Taylor was jailed after a warehouse he rented was raided by police in December 2004. Drugs and firearms were recovered.
He was also slapped with extra time for escaping from police custody and kidnapping guards, as well as being convicted of conspiring to supply methamphetamine from behind bars.
Taylor served more than 15 years in prison – his longest time inside – before being released in 2019. While in prison, Taylor taught himself the law and took on cases creating a precedent against the Crown, as well as his own defence.
Every day for three years, he has worn the anklet, which he described as his “ball and chain”.
Monday will also mark the end of his parole conditions, which included not being able to work – voluntarily or otherwise – unless he had prior approval from a probation officer, including involvement in the legal affairs of others.
But now Taylor, who has spent nearly 40 years behind bars, plans to continue her legal work, as well as entering a new field: debt collection.
The latter was less about kicking down doors and demanding money, and more about filing documents in court, including lawsuits against debtors.
”It’s just something that interests me.”
Taylor said he didn’t like those who deliberately concealed their assets: “The rest of us have to pay our damn debts, don’t we?”
Taylor now had an office in Dunedin, in the city’s wharf area, from where his firm, Arthur Taylor Jailhouse Lawyer, would operate.
”I like to stay busy.”
While lawyers needed an LLB ‘as an advertisement to the world that they are capable of doing the job, ‘I am already well known as being well capable of doing the job’.
“I already have a de facto LLB in my opinion,” said Taylor, who was known to fight for prisoners’ rights, and a successful private prosecution of “witness C” in the Tamihere case.
Taylor would also need a character certificate from the New Zealand Law Society, to demonstrate that he was a fit and proper person to be admitted as a barrister and barrister.
His criminal history meant he was unlikely to receive a certificate.
But while Taylor could not represent individuals in court, he could represent a business as an attorney, under the District Courts Act.
Taylor attributed his story – which includes more than 100 convictions – to being “the result of my ill-spent youth.”
“You’re rooting in your ways, you know. ”