There has been a major breakthrough in the Allan Titford case. And sadly (but typically) every newspaper, TV channel and radio station in this country, in accord with the state’s wishes, is covering it up.
Before you read the affidavit below, bear in mind that the woman writing it, Sheryll Titford, along with her husband, Allan’s brother Brian, doesn’t like Allan. She has always supported her former sister-in-law, Susan Titford (Cochrane).
(And before you conclude that Allan must be guilty if his brother and sister-in-law don’t like him, wait till you hear what Sue’s brother Dennis Cochrane has to say about the dishonesty of his sister Sue — but that’s the subject of another post.)
This is what makes Sheryll Titford’s voluntary affidavit so remarkable. Despite being a friend of Sue’s, Sheryll has been moved by her conscience to do the right thing by Allan.
Sheryll’s affidavit reveals that Sue told her that her (Sue’s) father, Graham Cochrane, confessed on his deathbed to burning down Sue and Allan’s family home at Maunganui Bluff.
Sue and Allan’s daughter Alyssa Titford witnessed Graham Cochrane’s confession.
Sheryll gave all this information to the Kaitaia police, who had charged Allan Titford with the arson, and were in the middle of the trial trying to prove it.
Allan’s aunt, Ileen McGrath, who had persuaded Sheryll to tell the police what she knew, gave the same information to Allan’s state-provided legal aid lawyer, John Moroney.
And yet, despite Sue, Alyssa, the police and Allan’s government lawyer having information that Allan did not burn down his house, Sue testified in court — in great detail — that he did.
And the police said nothing and allowed Allan to be sentenced to 24 years imprisonment for this and many other charges, convicted solely on the evidence of Sue and her family and friends who stood to gain massively from stripping Allan of his money, property and liberty.
And the lawyer, even more remarkably, made no mention of the new evidence in his client’s defence, having previously called precisely no witnesses for Allan despite being given several pages of names!
OK. Now read Sheryll Titford’s affidavit…
Affidavit of Sheryll Titford saying Sue Titford’s father, Graham Cochrane
confessed on his deathbed to burning down Sue and Allan’s house.
Now follows another affidavit. This one’s from Allan Titford’s aunt, Ileen McGrath, telling of how Sheryll told her about Sue’s revelation of her father’s confessioni.
It also reveals that Sheryll gave this information to the firm acting for Allan — and yet Allan’s state-provided legal aid lawyer, John Moroney, did nothing to bring it to the attention of the judge before sentencing.
Affidavit of Ileen McGrath confirming her discussions with
Sheryll Titford and with Allan’s legal aid lawyer’s firm.
Now finally a statement from Martin Doutré, the dogged researcher who had already formed the view that Graham Cochrane had committed the arson before a chat with Ileen McGrath confirmed his suspicion.
STATEMENT OF MARTIN DOUTRÉ
1 JANUARY 2014
To whom it may concern.
INTERVIEW WITH ILEEN MCGRATH, ALLAN TITFORD’S AUNT, 31ST OF DECEMBER 2013.
On the 31st of December 2013, I phoned Ileen McGrath, Allan Titfords’s aunt, and arranged to drop off a package of papers to her.
I had contacted her the day before to discuss the visit I had with her nephew, Allan John Titford, at Mt. Eden Prison the previous Sunday afternoon.
In the course of that earlier 30th of December 2013 phone call I had expressed my impression that it seemed highly likely to me that the 4th of July 1992 arson of the Titford farm home at Maunganui Bluff might have been done by Susan Titford’s father.
This suspicion had been aroused in reading letters or reports by Susan at the time, which indicated her intense fear of the Te Roroa Maori terrorists and their death threats or on-going intimidation of both Allan and her.
It appeared very likely that Susan’s father, Graham Cochrane, strongly-desired to remove Susan from the very threatening environment, at all cost, and considered that the best way to accomplish this was by destroying the home to force eviction from the property under siege.
In stating my suspicions to Ileen McGrath by phone on the 30th of December 2013, she immediately said she had information, along the same lines, that she would not discuss on the phone, but would share with me when I dropped off the package of papers.
At around 1: 45 pm to 3 pm on the 31st of December, at her home at Browns Bay and in the presence of Lewis Titford, Allan’s uncle, Ileen gave the following account:
- When Susan Titford’s father, Graham Cochrane died on the 16th of August 2011, Sheryll Titford, wife of Brian Titford of Waiwera, Allan Titford’s brother, went up to visit the family the day before the funeral.
- Sheryll Titford was a close friend and confidant of Susan Titford (née Cochrane) and was belligerent towards Allan Titford, as was Brian Titford, Sheryll’s husband.
- At this family gathering or wake, Susan, very distraught and in the company of Alyssa and James, approached Sheryll and told her that Graham Cochrane had made a deathbed confession that he had burnt down the home at Maunganui Bluff in 1992.
- About a week after Graham Cochrane’s funeral, Ileen McGrath attended a family BBQ at Waiwera and washed dishes afterwards with Sheryll.
- Sheryll appeared to have a bottled-up need to share the very important revelation from Susan with Ileen and, although Sheryll remained contemptuous in her attitude towards Allan, but loyal to Susan, she was in a quandary as to what she should do with this very significant knowledge.
- Ileen McGrath told Sheryll that she should “do the right thing” and disclose the information to the police.
- At a later, unknown, date Sheryll phoned Ileen to say “It’s done”.
- Sheryll then recounted how she’d transmitted this information to Detective Eddie Evans, the individual handling Titford’s files and the one designated to provide Allan Titford with full police disclosure.
- Despite having this pertinent and highly significant information in his possession before Allan Titford was sentenced, accompanied by a legal obligation to disclose it to Allan, Detective Eddie Evans withheld this from the court.
- As a result of this omission, Allan Titford was subsequently convicted of arson, even though the police knew he was innocent of the charge before sentencing occurred.
- Also, during the 2013 trial and before sentencing, Ileen McGrath wished to speak with Allan’s legal aid lawyer and tell him what Sheryll had told her, however did not know his name.
- Allan had told Ileen that his lawyer was Mr. Moloney and that he had offices in Albany. Ileen could not find any such individual in the telephone book, so called barrister Greg Denholm to see if he had contact details.
- Greg Denholm said to Ileen that the lawyer’s name was Mahoney, but Ileen could find no such reference either, so simply went through the yellow pages to locate lawyers with premises in Albany. She then found reference to an Albany-based lawyer called Moroney.
- After verifying that Mr. Moroney was representing Allan Titford, Ileen went down to the premises of the lawyer, situated adjacent to the Albany courthouse, and asked to see Mr. Moroney, but the secretary said he was away.
- Ileen gave an account of what Sheryll Titford had told her and said that an affidavit (verbal or otherwise) about Graham Cochrane’s deathbed confession had been presented, by Sheryll, to Detective Eddie Evans, who had noted these facts.
- The secretary said that she knew Eddie Evans very well and would transmit this information to Mr. Moroney.
Graham Neville Cochrane, 1945 – 2011, arsonist, who admitted on his deathbed
to burning down the home of Allan and Susan Titford at Maunganui Bluff on
the 4th of July 1992.
Ileen McGrath had done all in her power to convey this important information to Allan’s lawyer for use in Allan’s defence.
Regardless of this effort, the affidavit by Sheryll Titford was not presented for the court’s consideration, nor were any witnesses of Graham Cochrane’s deathbed confession called for cross-examination.
Allan Titford was subsequently convicted of burning down his own home and sentenced accordingly, based upon the known fraudulent testimony of Susan Titford (née Cochrane), who knew first-hand that her father, Graham Cochrane had admitted to being the arsonist.
Alyssa and James Titford also knew that their father was innocent of this charge, but deliberately withheld that knowledge from the court.
Susan, Alyssa and James have proven themselves to be hostile witnesses who have knowingly committed perjury and whose testimony should not be permissible in a court of law.
Ileen McGrath prepared her own affidavit concerning what was told to her by Sheryll Titford, as well as their combined attempts to transmit this very important information to the police and court prior to Allan Titford’s sentencing on this false charge.
There is much more to come out on this story, specifically about state corruption and collusion with a family of habitual liars.
But will a mainstream medium have the guts to run it?
If Sue can lie so brazenly about the arson, what else did she, Alyssa and the other children lie about?
32 thoughts on “DEATHBED CONFESSION: SUE TITFORD’S DAD TORCHED MAUNGANUI BLUFF HOME – Sue, kids, police and Allan’s legal aid lawyer knew Allan was innocent, but let the court convict him.”
Well done, yet again, John Ansell.
This has happened before: I have many times wondered where the loyalties of state-appointed defense lawyers lay. Where was Arther Allan Thomas’s lawyer during his two trials?
This is extraordinary stuff, and exposes major and deliberate corruption of legal process. The perjurers must be brought to justice, and Allan Titford released – possibly pending a retrial if that is deemed necessary. The best way to make that happen is to make sure the details are given widespread public exposure as soon as possible.
Excellent work again, John, but shocking stuff. The perjurers must definitely be brought to trial and as Johnp said, Allan Titford must be released pending a possible retrial. If these people can perjure themselves on this matter, surely it brings everything else they have said into question.
Also shocking that Allan’s lawyer didn’t present these affidavits and do more to defend Allan properly in Court. There is something very shonky going on here and the media must pick it up and run with it, forcing the justice system to do something about achieving true justice.
What a pity we don’t still have the Privy Council!!
The family were granted immunity from perjury charges, Helen, so they were free to say what they liked.
John Carter MP set it up, and collaborated with them in bringing the charges against Allan (as did the police).
You might well ask: Why would a government minister get involved in a marital dispute? But don’t bother asking John (now mayor of the Far North). He’s “not interested” in talking about the Titford case these days.
Granted immunity from perjury charges ? But that is a liars’ charter. What sort of kangaroo court are we looking at here ? The list of pressing reasons to push had for some very strong light to be shone into these grubby affairs grows longer with each revelation !! It seems to me that a number of very shady people need to be _compelled_ to start telling the truth, no matter how foreign that concept may be to them.
Oh they do, johnp, they do – right up to and including the judge who put him away for longer than most people get for murder.
And of course the politicians who appoint the judges, right up to and including various prime ministers, from Lange to Key, who promised that no private person would lose their land to a Maori land claim (even a genuine one, which the Maunganui Bluff one clearly wasn’t).
I remember that now but on reflection, how can someone be granted immunity from perjury charges? Surely immunity is only given because the powers that be know the witness is going to lie. How can you be given immunity from lying? It just doesn’t make sense and surely there is some means whereby their lies can be exposed and this can be beneficial to the accused.
If not, then our justice system isn’t one – it is an injustice system and stinks to high heaven.
Sue was granted immunity from prosecution for perjury on the grounds that she believed that she would be in danger if she did not lie.
John Carter MP was egging her on every step of the way, and the state were heavily involved in which charges to lay and which to drop. (Unusual for a matrimonial case, wouldn’t you say?)
The state has form in this area. Years earlier, a policeman told Allan that they would keep inventing charges against him until he agreed to walk away from the farm.
” Sue was granted immunity from prosecution for perjury on the grounds that she believed that she would be in danger if she did not lie ” – if that is so, then our political and judicial systems are in deep trouble. Even banana republics understand that wilfully lying in court while under oath is an attack on the whole point of conducting a court proceeding in the first place. We are all potentially in jeopardy if anyone can say anything untrue against us without fear of any consequences, because they have been granted immunity from charges of perjury. This has to be one of the most disturbing aspects of the whole nasty business, because of its wider implications.
John, the person she alleged she was in danger from was Allan. She claimed to be a battered wife.
(Odd really, considering she also used to give him over-the-top birthday and anniversary cards proclaiming him to be the world’s greatest husband.)
Yes, I know. Everything she says is rather self-contradictory. And I still fail to see any valid connection between being in danger from the accused (even if true) – and being given carte blanche to lie with impunity. That doesn’t compute.
She was being given immunity from being prosecuted for having lied for the previous 22 years, supposedly under duress.
Now either that was the truth (that she lied for 22 years, and very convincingly too), or her confession that she lied was a lie.
Either way, and for whatever reason, Susan Cochrane is an expert, experienced liar.
And so, for whatever reason (like bribes from Sue and threats from her violent family) are her children.
A serial liar – whose lies were enough to put Allan Titford away fro 25 years !! This has to be dragged out into the daylight.
Perhaps “Investigate” magazine might have the guts to follow this up.
If anyone would Ian Wishart certainly could be the person to do it. Good call Mitch. Might you consider contacting them, John A?
I think that great South Auckland magazine the e-local would also publish this story. Editor Myklejon Winkel does not shy away from exposing the facts.
I agree about Mykeljon being the most likely to publish, KayCee. But even he will no doubt be guided by naturally conservative lawyers.
One whom I thought would run it was Paul Henry. I gave him the story first in the expectation that he would.
But once again the lawyers got in the way, telling his reporter that the revelation of the arson affidavits could influence Allan’s appeal.
I ran this theory past a friend who was once the editor of a major daily. He said there is a big difference between influencing a trial (with a jury) and influencing an appeal (with seasoned judges).
He said the rule was to be cautious in the case of a jury trial, but not to worry about publishing if it was only an appeal.
So you have to wonder what TV3’s problem was. Ross Baker always said none of the media would touch it because they’re all in the state’s pocket. Seems he might be right.
I may well be wrong, but if my memory still serves me, a “death bed confession” may not carry any evidential weight. An exception to the Hearsay Rule was/is a “dying declaration” which concerns the statement of a victim who knew their death was imminent as a result of the actions of the murderer. This dying declaration in criminal trials therefore could only be used for homicide.
There are three confessions here, Tamati:
1) Graham’s deathbed confession to Sue and Alyssa
2) Sue’s and Alyssa’s admission of 1) to Sheryll, and
3) Sheryll’s reporting of 2) to Ileen.
By far the most important is 2), since that shows that:
a) Sue’s claim that Allan burned down the house was an elaborately-planned lie.
b) Alyssa failed to correct the lie in court.
c) The police failed to correct it.
d) Allan’s state-appointed lawyer failed to correct it, and
e) Sue and Alyssa cannot be trusted to have told the truth about anything else.
My understanding of what has been posted here is that the information received by both Sheryll and Ileen about the death bed confession was not passed on to the Police until after Allan’s trial (between being found guilty and sentencing). If that is in fact the case, how could Susan and Alyssa have been cross examined on what they were told by Graeme in his dying moments?
Had this information been given to the Police before trial, the Police/Crown would have been duty bound to have interviewed Susan, Aylssa, Sheryll and perhaps Ileen, specifically about it and to have disclosed their statements to the defence. Assuming that Susan and Alysa would have denied a confession by Graeme in any such interview and again under cross examination at the trial then Sheryll would have been able to give rebuttal evidence. I suspect that this would have been the only way to introduce Graeme’s confession, as it does not fall within the definition of a dying declaration.
Evidence of the framed photograph of Graeme and his motorbike post arson is good corroboration so I hope making this public doesn’t cause it to disappear and I would suggest that someone gets on to locating and photographing it before it does.
Tamati, if the evidence reached the judge after conviction but before sentencing, surely it would not be too late for the judge to take it into account. I don’t know the law well enough to know what the proper process would be from that point.
But the point is that both the police (Detective Eddie Evans) and Allan’s state-paid lawyer (John Moroney) failed to pass on the affidavits to the judge.
And more to the point, Sue was quite happy to press on with her story that Allan burned their house down, even once her father had confessed to doing it.
Or did he? Sue’s brother thinks Sue may have done it. And Allan told me today that there have so far been 13 fires connected with Sue in some way, the latest being the destruction of the home of Denise Whitehead, the mother of the boyfriend who got Ulanda pregnant at the age of 14 while in Sue’s sole care.
Allan was astonished to turn on the TV late last year and see his daughter about how she narrowly escaped from the sleepout in Mrs Whitehead’s home before the flames consumed it.
He also told me that a man in Ngawha Prison, whose name I have, came up to him while he was there and said, “Your wife offered me $15,000 to kill you.” He subsequently heard the same thing from several other prisoners.
Allan then recalled various incidents where he had had very narrow escapes, including being shot and being found covered in blood, and realised his wife might have been trying to do away with him for years.
Ulanda at one stage commented that his mother had been putting sewage water in Allan’s food. Sue says Allan paid Ulanda to say that. But what sort of daughter would make up something like that about her own mother, even for the promise of riches?
We know where the photograph is, Tamati — with a supporter of Allan’s.
The only comment I want to make to this is one cause Im keeping all my comments for the time I need it. But John I want to ask you something. Will you ask Allan on your next visit how all the stuff (washing machine, bed,cot, etc got outside at the back of the house on the night of the fire and post his answer on here
Sue, before I ask Allan anything, I think it’s fair that you tell us why you said at different times that:
1) Allan burned down the house, and
2) Your father burned down the house.
1) Allan raped you on or about 9 July 2009, and (according to your own diary)
2) Allan did not rape you, but only pushed you out of bed.
1) You said you offered the children $5000 each, while
2) Each of the children said you didn’t.
If you will answer my questions, I will happily ask Allan yours, and post his answers. You should know that whenever Ross Baker, Martin Doutre or I have asked Allan to prove you wrong on document evidence (such as over the sale agreement, which you say he got you to forge years later), he has been able to do so.
Now we would like to answer our legitimate concerns about your honesty.
sorry John I will not answer your questions until necessary cause you will all be proved wrong and end up looking like idiots. Then me along with my family will be suing for slander etc
As I thought, Sue.
An honest person would have wanted to clear up the inconsistencies immediately.
You, meanwhile, take the guilty person’s escape route of remaining silent and threatening the messenger.
If people were giving you the benefit of the doubt before, I doubt whether they are now.
Your response is very good news for Allan.
Sue, you say you won’t answer my questions until necessary. What does that suggest — except guilt?
You say you won’t tell us the truth out of concern that we’ll all end up looking like idiots.
How generous of you. And how totally implausible.
Why would you want to delay making us look like idiots? Why not prove us wrong now?
Why play for time – unless you’ve got something to hide?
Are your Crown Law con artist handlers advising you to lay low and hope we go away?
Because we won’t go away. We won’t give up. As you should know after a quarter century of hard slog, Ross Baker’s not like that. Neither is Martin Doutre. Neither am I.
We see a man in prison for crimes he did not commit. For a length of time that would be too long even if he had committed them.
We’re going to keep pushing until they let him out.
There is someone who deserves to be in prison.
But it’s not Allan.
On April 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm Susan (Titford) Cochrane wrote:
I talked to Allan today and had him recount (on the spur of the moment and unrehearsed) what happened on the night of the farm-house fire once again and, more specifically, about the washing machine, bed, cot, etc., dragged outside to the back of the house.
His account has never changed and has remained the same (with some added minor detail today) as that which you both wrote in the 1998 book, Robbery by Deceit or other articles:
So, even Allan was bewildered as to why the Te Roroa claimants would burn the house down at that particular time.
In today’s (7/4/14) impromptu and straight off-the-cuff questioning, Allan perfectly recounted details about the thick smoke hanging in the air about 2/3rds up towards the ceiling when he first rushed into the burning house.
He reiterated how the bedroom immediately burst into flames when he opened the bedroom door and how the house fire alarms went off at that point.
He said that, after retreating from the bedroom door, he first rushed to the lounge and grabbed the fishing-chest he’d hidden behind the couch.
It contained the irreplaceable historical documents he needed to counter Te Roroa’s false land claim. The fishing-chest was dumped out the back door in haste, as was Alyssa’s cot and some baby clothes, one bed mattress and the washing machine.
He didn’t have time to get to the many other treasured items, as the flames engulfed the house so quickly.
In retrospect, he would have loved to have grabbed the 19th century Bohemian crucifix that was draped over the photo portrait of Susan’s grandmother (mother’s side), as it was a rare family heirloom from the old country.
He made no attempt to save the large framed photo of Graham Cochrane (Susan’s father), portrayed astride his M.O.T. motorcycle, which should have hung in the hallway, but concentrated on necessities he could reach in time that sat beyond the range of the ever-engulfing flames and intense heat.
He managed to get the fishing-chest load of documents to the shed and stowed with other documents he’d secreted there.
So, Susan, what’s your point? … and why did your father’s photo-portrait survive the fire, to be seen by me in about 2006 hanging in the hallway of your parent’s Hikurangi home?
Allan knows emphatically that neither he nor Susan grabbed it from the burning home on 4/7/92 and Allan was quite shocked when I casually mentioned I’d seen it on display at Hikurangi.
Given its large photo-portrait size, professional glazing and framing, it seems very unlikely that a (single income?) working family in the late 70s early 80s would have commissioned two of these very expensive items to be produced, and Allan is certain there was only ever one … So who removed it from the house before the arson to ensure its survival?
Graham Cochrane obviously treasured that personal item, and the evidence suggests he wasn’t about to let it go up in smoke.
Allan said the photo portrait had been placed in the Maunganui Bluff farmhouse as a gesture of assurance to Susan that her father would always be there to protect her from harm.
By your own testimony Susan, as well as that of Alyssa who also heard your father’s death-bed confession, he did just that, by burning down the house to forcibly remove you from Apache country and beyond the dangerous intimidation of weed-whacked, gun-toting, trigger-happy and ever-abusive Te Roroa terrorists … out to scalp you in more ways than one.
I think once a conviction has been entered having been found guilty by a jury, overturning it would then be out of the jurisdiction of the trial judge
Concerning the framed photo being removed prior to the arson, who would be the more likely person to have done this?
Someone not related to the family? A. No
Alan? A. Probably not.
Graeme? (portrait subject) A..Strong possibility
Susan? (daughter of portrait subject) . A. Yes
Those are just more weasel words. Quite clearly, this woman cannot be even remotely trusted to tell the truth, especially if she does not perceive any gain for her by doing so. She also resorts very easily to making threats when discomforted by revelations and /or questions which show her up.
Very rewarding reading here and I congratulate you, John Ansell, for tackling Alan’s situation which is so obviously historically complex. It wouldn’t surprise me one iota to find that corrupt politicians and their judicial puppets paid Susan to fabricate evidence of “sexual abuse” so they could put him behind bars.
Having spent time with Alan in the same wing at Rimutaka and having myself been recently released after Court of Appeal quashed my convictions I know from firsthand experience how corrupt police and crown lawyers manipulate the system, fabricate evidence, withhold vital evidence that does not support their case (viz: John Banks Appeal Decision 19 May 2015) and all manner of government sanctioned criminality to convict innocent people.
Our Criminal [in]justice system is fundamentally flawed and successive Justice Ministers hope like hell it stays that way. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a judicial myth perpetuated by all National PMs since Bolger (if not before). If you appear in Court you are deemed guilty and the onus is on you to prove your innocence. The last thing Crown lawyers want juries to hear is the TRUTH and they do everything in their power to ensure crown witnesses lies pervert the course of justice. Even Jury verdicts are irrelevant. Think on the David Bain case. At retrial jury found him “not guilty” which implies innocence yet to get compensation for wrongful imprisonment Bain has to prove his innocence whilst John (Junk Bonds Salesman) Key is happy to squander millions of taxpayer dollars to find some judicial puppet willing to give reasons why the National Government shouldn’t pay him compensation.
To curry favor with a gullible middle class voting public politicians regularly resort to populist ‘beneficiary bashing’ tactics. Politicians con the public into believing that beneficiaries are ‘dole bludgers’ wasting taxpayers hard earned dollars but omit telling them that the beneficiary costing $300 per week will cost $300 per day if in prison. As for a level playing field in Criminal Justice – forget it. Politicians regularly con voters into believing criminals waste too much taxpayer funds on legal aid whilst not telling them that the Crown has no restrictions on spending. Defense lawyers working on legal aid cases are paid a fixed fee whilst for same trial the Crown can spend 10+ times as much without being obligated to disclose or held to account.
It is this sick system that ensures innocent people are convicted and many spend time behind bars. The public are aware of high profile cases like Arthur Allan Thomas, David Dougherty, David Bain, etc but many innocent people who do not feature in media suffer wrongful convictions and many either plead guilty or forgo appeals to minimize time spent in prison.
Will the recently formed NZPIP fair any better than previous Innocence Projects in righting judicial wrongs? Maybe in a few isolated cases but we need a Criminal Cases Review Commission (as in UK) to correct miscarriages of justice for those who cannot afford justice or are at the mercy of politically inspired injustice. Amy Adams, like her predecessors, is not in favour for reasons that should be obvious to the enlightened. She is part of the problem so can never be part of the solution.
The problem with the Criminal Cases Review Commission is that it gets the innocent person out.
We need a system that stops the innocent person going in
And there is such a system
It is called a new completely overhauled and accountable justice system complete with all the necessary checks and balances
Problem. It is the politicians that bring about change
To give an idea of the problem. Rodney Hyde believes in Scott Watson’s innocence and could not help