Kiwi fugitive jailed in Canada

TOM HUNT
Last updated 12:38 08/08/2014
Michael Farley
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JAILED: Michael Farley.

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A Palmerston North fugitive has been jailed in Canada for kidnapping a prostitute he dragged behind a moving van.

In 2011, Michael Farley was serving a sentence of home detention in New Zealand on charges of receiving stolen goods.

He was due to be sentenced on a further charge of perverting the course of justice.

Before sentencing, he fled New Zealand under an assumed identity, cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet before leaving.

In March last year, he was living in Vancouver, Canada, working as a handyman under the false name of Robert James Clarke.

He was arrested that month for kidnapping a 42-year-old prostitute.

Witnesses described seeing her being dragged behind a van after she partially freed herself and tried to jump from the moving vehicle. She suffered serious cuts, ''road rash'' and a head injury.

After his arrest, police said Farley drove into a secluded area after picking up the victim, then beat her and tied her up.

He faced eight charges, including kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, administering drugs to commit an indictable offence, overcoming resistance by choking to commit sexual assault, and assault.

In court in Vancouver, Farley pleaded guilty to the kidnapping charge, for which he was jailed for 22 months on July 30, a Canadian Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said.

He entered no pleas for the other charges which, while not dismissed, were not pursued by prosecutors as the kidnapping charge carried the largest sentence.

In June last year, Farley's brother, Kevin Farley was sentenced to  six months' home detention for forging the passport documents that allowed his brother to skip the country.

During that trial in the Palmerston North District Court, defence lawyer Jock Turnbull argued that Kevin Farley was ''easily led and easily pushed around.''

''That's the explanation he has given - he was pushed into a corner by his brother.''

The court heard that Michael Farley had applied for a passport under the false name Robert James Clarke, using a false photograph.

Kevin Farley filled out a ''witness'' section, wrongly confirming the man in the photo was Mr Clarke.

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- The Dominion Post

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