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Career criminal Arthur Taylor on lockdown

Published: 9:18PM Sunday June 26, 2011 Source: ONE News

High profile inmate Arthur Taylor has been placed in segregation in prison and is on a 23-hour lockdown.

The career criminal, who earlier this month threatened to take Corrections to court in an attempt to keep his "prison office" , is in a "cold concrete cell with very few additional benefits".

News of the segregation was revealed tonight on TV ONE's Sunday programme.

Prison Services Assistant General Manager Dr Brendon Anstiss would not reveal fully why Taylor had been placed in segregation, saying "I'm not to go into details for security reasons".

However, Anstiss said "Mr Taylor's behaviour in prison is very challenging and it's problematic".

Taylor's cell is now back to basics.

"He has a bed, he has access to writing materials and books he doesn't have the same freedoms as what he may have enjoyed under a regular maximum security regime."

Last month Taylor, 54, had an extra seven years added on to the sentence he is already serving for firearms and drugs charges. He was sentenced for conspiracy to supply methamphetamine in a P-ring that operated inside Auckland's maximum security prison, Paremoremo.

Taylor has more than 120 convictions and is notorious for escaping from prison in 1998 and 2005 and also for being inadvertently released from Mt Eden prison in 1992 in a Corrections Department mix-up.

At least half a million dollars has been spent on keeping Taylor in prison.

Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Bush told Sunday that Taylor was a "criminal with no social or moral conscience who is an absolute burden on the country".

He said there were two sides to Taylor.

"One is the industrious and the engaging but the other is the propensity for violence," he said.

"Crimes such as armed robbery and using firearms in the commission off offences, now that denotes a dangerous criminal."

Taylor, who lists his occupation as legal executive, currently owns land in Northland worth nearly a million dollars, Sunday revealed.

Anstiss said Taylor has never had an extra cell.

"He's had a resource room where he's stored his legal files," he said.

"He's referred to it as an office that's part of Mr Taylor's behaviour. He grandiose, he exaggerates, he's manipulative."

Anstiss said that at the the prison manager has discretion in certain matters and has "supported Mr Taylor in his ability to pursue a legal avenue".

"We've obligations under the Prisons Act that prisoners can represent themselves and do have access to computers if that is required as part of their legal defence."

He said Taylor was "our most difficult prisoner" and that he "will go out of his way to challenge the system".