Arthur Taylor spent nearly 40 years in prison and has written a book about his experience. (File photo)
Prison attorney Arthur Taylor has received court approval to include some controversial evidence in his upcoming book, Warts and Everything.
Taylor, now based in Dunedin, has a civil case pending against the Department of Corrections and has collected evidence based on CCTV footage of Corrections provided to him as part of the trial.
Corrections and Taylor agreed to keep the CCTV material confidential.
With his first book, Prison Break, due to be published on August 3, Taylor feared Corrections might try to disrupt the book’s publication, as a few sentences from a doctor’s report about his injury were published in 2017.
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He asked the court to approve the use of quotes in the book on how he might have passed out while being moved between prisons.
The incident is part of his claim for more than $ 1 million in damages and major damages. The lawsuit is expected to be heard in around six weeks from February 2022.
In a brief ruling by the Wellington High Court on Friday, Associate Justice Kenneth Johnston said Taylor had permission from the court to use seven quotations from the doctor’s evidence.
His judgment only provided the result because an answer was urgently needed. He will give his reasons later, he said.
On Friday, Taylor told Stuff it was a victory for freedom of expression.
Taylor spent approximately 38 years in prison for a variety of crimes. He studied law and took on many cases against prisons and others, fighting for his own rights and those of other prisoners.
He dealt with issues such as prisoners’ right to vote and the Crown’s use of evidence from “prison informants” in criminal proceedings.
On Friday he told Stuff that the book contained a lot of history about the New Zealand prison system.
Taylor said he couldn’t have done it without a staff member from Stuff, Sunday Star Times news director Kelly Dennett, who wrote the book with him.
The advertisement for the book said his life story was remarkable. He has had more than 150 convictions ranging from bank robberies to fraud, theft, escape, and gun and explosives possession.
“His stories about prison life are entertaining, gripping; sometimes frightening, ”said the publisher Allen & Unwin.