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Mayoral candidate jailed for 24yrs

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  • Mayoral candidate jailed for 24yrs

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    Northland farmer, anti-Treaty of Waitangi campaigner and Far North mayoral candidate Allan Titford has been jailed for 24 years on sex and violence charges.

    Found guilty on 39 charges but protected by name suppression until last week, he was sentenced in High Court in Whangarei.

    Charges included assault on a woman and children, sexual violation, arson, using a document with intention to defraud, threatening to kill, assault with a weapon, perjury, attempting to pervert justice and discharging a firearm.

    His name had been suppressed while he ran for mayor. He tailed the field home, winning 414 votes.Titford had a high profile in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as he fought the Crown over a farm he owned at Maunganui Bluff, on the coast north of Dargaville.

    A 1992 Waitangi Tribunal recommendation had said his 670-hectare Aranga farm should go to the Te Roroa iwi. After a bitter dispute, the land was bought by the Crown for $3.25 million in 1995.

    Titford claimed Maori had torched his home and caused other damage to his farm during the bitter seven-year wrangle. The Te Roroa people had claimed 38ha of the property, after it was found the Manuwhetai Reserve, at the centre of the dispute, had been included in the farm land title by mistake decades ago.
    Titford was also found guilty of an arson he had blamed on Maori.

    Judge Duncan Harvey told the court Titford had twice tried to burn down his own home on the Aranga farm, and the second time had succeeded.
    His actions were an attempt to procure sympathy for his plight, and had turned the public against Maori. "It is time for the people of New Zealand to learn the truth," he said.

    The court heard Titford dominated his ex-wife. In an unusual move, Susan Cochrane waived name suppression so that Titford could be named. Victims of sex crimes have automatic name suppression, which can prevent their attacker being named.

    In her victim impact statement, Cochrane said Titford used her as a sex slave for 22 years. She had suffered from depression and had considered suicide.Titford was upset, maintained his innocence and was considering his options, his lawyer told Radio New Zealand.
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