News

Nude beach advocate says cops give him a raw deal

Herb Taylor has fronted court.
Herb Taylor has fronted court. Alistair Brightman

COLOURFUL court regular, would-be council CEO and nude beach activist Graham "Herb" Taylor has had a partial win after claiming his Forrest Gump-like mentality was to blame for a driving licence blunder.

For years, Taylor has been at loggerheads with police over what they perceive to be a blatant disregard for basic traffic rules and public nuisance offences.

In turn, Taylor, an advocate for a nude beach who applied for the recently filled Bundaberg Regional Council chief executive officer role and has at times voiced his plans to run for Fraser Coast mayor, has repeatedly challenged charges and court orders, insisting officers are unfairly targeting him.

Most recently Mr Taylor appealed convictions and subsequent fines handed down in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for failing to transfer the registration of a former pizza delivery car he had bought and failing to update the address on his driver's licence.

He claimed "severe brain damage" affected how he processed information and insisted the charges were driven by "malice and a clear intent to harm me and my mum".

The Hervey Bay Magistrates Court previously heard that when stopped by police in December, 2013 and asked why he had not transferred the registration of a car which he had bought several months before, Mr Taylor replied "I'm as thick as Forrest Gump, and I'm just been down there now to get some paperwork and get this done".

He was recorded as telling the police officer he couldn't remember whether he bought the car for a couple of cartons of beer or a few hundred dollars.

When asked why he had not updated his address Mr Taylor said "Oh sh*t. I didn't know you had to do that."

The presiding magistrate said that while he did not like to refer to Mr Taylor as Forrest Gump, he accepted Mr Taylor had "major problems with memory" but found he had effectively admitted to the offences and seemed more interested in "the treatment he's received by the police in the past".

In his decision, handed down in the Hervey Bay District Court this week, Judge Gary Long said Mr Taylor's submissions were generally made up of "disorganised and rambling observations", often on scraps of paper.

He found the registration conviction should stand.

But Judge Long said that while Mr Taylor had made reference to constantly moving houses, there was no evidence that he had "severed any association" with the address on his licence and ordered that the conviction for that offence be set aside.

It's not the first time Mr Taylor has likened his mental state to that of the famous Tom Hanks movie character. The same line was used during a 2014 trial in which Mr Taylor unsuccessfully attempted to justify his repeated refusal to wear a bike helmet.

- ARM NEWSDESK

Topics:  district court appeal forrest gump general-seniors-news herb taylor nudist beach outandabout


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