A man convicted of one of Canterbury’s most high-profile murders has been recalled to prison after breaching his parole conditions by repeatedly engaging the services of a sex worker.
Timothy Taylor was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering Lisa Blakie in February 2000.
The 20-year-old was killed as she hitchhiked from Christchurch to Greymouth.
Her body was found on Waitangi Day, weighted down by a boulder in the river near Arthur’s Pass.
Taylor, now 51, has always denied the murder, described as “savage and brutal”.
But he was convicted of murder and jailed for life.
He was released on parole on April 7 last year after spending more than two decades behind bars.
A number of conditions were imposed including GPS monitoring.
In December the Department of Corrections applied to have Taylor recalled to prison on the grounds of “undue risk to community safety and breach of release conditions”.
The Parole Board made that recall order and its full decision released to the Herald today outlines the alleged breach.
Taylor will appear in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon on the charge.
The court hearing is for the formal charges – regardless of what happens, the board has decided Taylor is an undue risk and has recalled him to prison.
The board heard that Taylor was progressing well on parole and had gained employment.
His conditions had also been tweaked to allow him to travel by himself to and from “approved outings”.
The board said on the first weekend that he could travel alone he deviated from where he was allowed to go.
“Deviations occurred on 13 occasions with the assumed purpose of seeking the services
of a prostitute,” said Parole Board panel convenor Alan Ritchie.
“In addition…based on the context of Mr Taylor’s violent and sexual offending there was concern that his risk had become undue given the nature of the deviations to the red light district to seek prostitution services.
“He is said to have sought the services of one prostitute and he admitted attending the location regularly seeking this person.
“He would take the prostitute to another location nearby to fulfil his physical sexual needs.”
Alongside the murder conviction, the board said Taylor had “a long history of violence, including rape, supplying drugs, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.”
The board heard that there previously identified dynamic risk factors for further sexual offending for Taylor included “indications of sexual preoccupation and poor problem-solving skills”.
“Despite Mr Taylor being subject to GPS monitoring and having been engaged in an intensive reintegration program – he had quickly engage in risky behaviour when the
opportunity presented,” Ritchie said.
“He had shown disregard for the rules.”
The board was provided an outline of the 13 deviations and told there was supporting CCTV footage.
It heard that on 2, 6 and 7 December 2021, instead of being at work Taylor was at
other locations and he had failed to notify a person supervising him.
“Mr Taylor’s explanation for the deviations to Manchester Street was that he used the
services of the same prostitute on two occasions in the red-light district of Christchurch,” Ritchie said.
“The CCTV footage was said to show Mr Taylor engaged with women on Manchester Street on 10 occasions. It also appeared to be at least two different women.
“With Mr Taylor having deviated on approved outings when he had been given more independence raised doubts about his intrinsic motivation to abide by the rules.
“The lack of communication by Mr Taylor with the (supervisor) or his probation officer was of particular concern.”
At the parole recall hearing Taylor’s lawyer said he “accepted the breach” and he
“acknowledged that, at least initially, he had not been upfront about it”.
Taylor accepted that he “needed more work with a psychologist”.
“On our assessment of all of the information in front of us, however, we are in no doubt that a risk to community safety is undue and we are making a final recall order,” said Ritchie.
“We certainly believe that there is a need for updating advice from a psychologist that will
take four months according to usual timeframes. Mr Taylor will be scheduled to be seen
in May 2022.”
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