Stephen William George Taylor
Sentenced to 2 years 2 months in September 2005
Due to be considered for parole May 2006
Hawkes Bay Today story here
Hawkes Bay Today article 13th September 2005
Former Salvation Army officer and Hastings Citizens Band secretary Stephen Taylor has started a jail term of two years and two months for sex offences which a distraught mother says almost destroyed her daughter. Taylor was sentenced in the Napier District Court yesterday but could be free early next year. The victim told her mother and sisters of Taylor's offending in May 2003, having kept the secret to herself for more than 11 years. Her mother finds it mystifying that 55-year-old Stephen William George Taylor, of Havelock North, was given a six-month credit for admitting his offences. Taylor's trial was due to start a month ago.
The victim, now 28, had travelled to Napier expecting to give evidence in the trial, but Taylor pleaded guilty to three charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female under 20 years under his care or protection. Judge Richard Watson said yesterday Taylor groomed his victim for his offending, much of which occurred in the home occupied by Taylor and his wife, and their own three children. The lie continued through a close family relationship, in which Taylor was once the marriage celebrant in the victim's sister's wedding, with the victim as a bridesmaid. It was hidden by his reputation for community service with such organisations as Red Cross and Victim Support, and a religious and upstanding persona he also claimed recently on an internet dating site.
The judge said victim impact reports made clear the distress which was caused by "this sort of offending" against young girls. "Often they will carry the trauma for the rest of their lives," he said. But the trauma runs through the family. The mother last night told of how the victim's sister wanted to destroy her wedding photos to get rid of the images of Taylor. She had chosen not to, but planned to renew her marital vows. The victim has never married and has struggled with relationships, says her mother. In a summary read to the court by Crown prosecutor Nicola Graham it was revealed Taylor and the victim's mother were on a committee together, and over a period of time Taylor visited the victim's family, and gave music lessons to the girl.
A family friendship developed in which Taylor gave both the mother and daughter gifts, meals, flowers and chocolates, and the girl also went on club trips on which Taylor became "very attentive" toward the girl and "watched over her in a fatherly way". When the girl's mother went into hospital, the girl moved into Taylor's home and became like one of his family. It was soon afterward that the offending began with touching which the girl, having being raised mainly in the absence of her own father, came to believe was "how a loving Sex became regular during the next few years - in the house, during club trips - and stopped only when the young woman left to go overseas.
Her mother, a fastidious diary keeper, had noted her daughter's decline in academic performance, and decline from achievements which had seen her nationally ranked in both sport and the band scene. The mother said she knew something was wrong and, while it was a huge shock, it was also a relief when her daughter finally told her. The victim was a "sick shadow of her former self" when she revealed the offending while sitting in the tearful company of her mother and her two sisters during a trip home to care for her mother. They had "a big bawl" and finally a complaint was made with police who began an investigation, aided by notes from the girl's mother's diary, and things Taylor wrote in letters he wrote to his victim.
He had gone overseas and it was not until December, when he and his wife returned on a five-week visit, that police made the arrest. The girl's mother feels sure Taylor must have had other victims, although Detective Glen Yule of Hastings said there had been no evidence of offending with other girls. The mother appealed to victims of similar offending to speak out and to offenders to own up, to help release victims from the tragedies destroying their lives. In a revealing letter to her family, precipitating the family meeting which unveiled the horror, the daughter wrote: "I've wanted to tell you ... I never knew how." The first contact with the authorities was when one of the sisters made an anonymous call to police in Napier, asking for advice. The victim's mother told Hawke's Bay Today: "If one girl can do it ... it might give others some hope."
Date of Birth
1950 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links TOP STORY: Sallie jailed on sex counts
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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