Unrest over sentence for Mormon sex offender

  • Breaking
  • 14/11/2013

A Child, Youth and Family (CYF) caregiver who used his role in Kaitaia's Mormon Church to groom young boys for sex has been jailed for five years and seven months.

But Daniel Taylor's victims and their families described the sentence as a joke.

From the moment Taylor was led into court, he was stoney-faced as his victims and their families got an empty apology.

"He knows only too well what he has done, how he has let these boys down, how he has let himself down, how he has let his community down," says Arthur Fairley.

His role as a seminary teacher at the local Mormon Church was pivotal in much of his offending.

Between 2007 and 2011, the court heard Taylor, also the deputy head of the Kaitaia Business Association, befriended five boys and their families.

Harrowing victim impact statements were read to the court by a mother of three boys aged 10-15, all brothers, who described their loneliness, embarrassment and guilt at having sleepovers at Taylor's house over a period of three years.

He'd sometimes fondle them, gyrate against them, and in one victim's case attempted intercourse.

Another boy placed in Taylor's care by CYF in 2011 told Taylor in his statement: "At the time CYFS interviewed me about what you'd done I told them only half the stuff [...] I even thought of hanging myself because I thought my reputation might be gone."

CYFS today defended its vetting process, saying the 34-year-old had had a clean record.

"At all levels it's unacceptable, we are going to be putting in more monitoring for caregivers that they will be seen more often, and an independent voice for children to speak out and that's part of the Children's Action Plan that is going through," says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

In sentencing the Kaitaia businessman to five years and seven months, Judge Woodhouse said the early guilty plea sparing the boys a trial helped his case, but the sentence infuriated the families.

"The harm you caused these boys may last them for the rest of their lives [...] and the harm can go beyond the victims," said Judge Woodhouse.

"You have a lack of insight into your victims and a lack of empathy."

Judge Woodhouse told the court Taylor wrote three letters to his five victims - they were one-sentence apologies which he signed 'Regards, Daniel Taylor'.

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source: newshub archive