The trials of Allan Titford By Mike Butler
The proposed Criminal Cases Review Commission to look at apparent miscarriages of justice would be a great help now that justice has become a rich person’s game, Titford book author Mike Butler said today.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission was highlighted yesterday when National leader Simon Bridges said that the conviction of the former Christchurch childcare worker, Peter Ellis, was the most obvious miscarriage of justice in New Zealand.
Mr Butler wrote 24 years – the trials of Allan Titford that was published this month.
An astonishing number of courts get it wrong and the expense of the appeals process means that those wrongfully jailed ruin themselves financially while trying to clear their names, Mr Butler said.
In the cases of Peter Ellis, Arthur Allan Thomas, David Bain, Teina Pora, and many others, the long road to justice began when people outside the legal system did the research and published their findings, at their own expense, while those who charge $250 an hour and more to do that work turned a blind eye, Mr Butler said.
Northland farmer Allan Titford was jailed in 2013 for 24 years for alleged marital rape, arson, insurance fraud, discharging a firearm, misleading justice, threatening to kill, and hitting his children, when many of the 53 charges against him were hardly tested in court.
In the 1980s, Titford unwittingly became the poster boy for those finding fault with the treaty settlement industry when he was forced to sell his Northland farm to satisfy a Maori claim.