Extortion accused ex-Block star bailed

Aaron Bunch
·3-min read

A reality TV contestant and former Penthouse cover girl accused of beating up and ripping off a sex client is set to be released from prison on bail, with a judge ordering her to get mental health treatment.

Suzi Taylor is facing 107 charges, including extortion, deprivation of liberty and assault stemming from a late-night rendezvous with David Butler at her Brisbane home in October 2019.

It's alleged The Block 2015 contestant, whose real name is Suellen Jan Taylor, and her co-accused, Ali Ebrahimi, then 22, demanded money, bashed and tied up Mr Butler after the pair allegedly met via the prostitution websites 'Escorts and Babes' and 'Scarlet Blue'.

She was granted bail in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday with strict conditions including wearing an electronic tracking device and a 24-hour curfew.

The 50-year-old will also have to live with her mother, surrender her passport, have no contact with Ebrahimi and undertake mental health treatment.

In granting bail, Justice Peter Callaghan said Taylor was "a complex and somewhat unfortunate individual ... with a lengthy but not particularly heinous criminal history".

"She suffers from mental health issues and as is unfortunately common in such situations she has endured periods of homelessness and that issue appears to be behind some of the (alleged) offending," he said.

Taylor was previously denied bail in August when the same court heard her mother, Annette David, was recovering from a stroke.

Justice Callaghan said Ms David was now in good health and able to care for Taylor at her remote rural property.

"The residence in question is located quite some distance from the bright lights that it seems unlikely (Taylor) will, if she resides there, be confronted by temptations," he said.

Bail was opposed by prosecutor Annica Fritz, who said Taylor had re-offended when previously on bail, including 85 alleged breaches of her bail conditions.

But defence lawyer Michael Gatenby said it was wrong to suggest his client "had a recalcitrant attitude to bail" and "was thumbing her nose at police".

"She's a woman who suffers from mental health issues (as) you can see by the frantic nature of her behaviour," he said.

Mr Gatenby also raised questions about Mr Butler's complaint to police, saying he gave evidence at Taylor's committal hearing that he was so intoxicated during their interlude he couldn't rule out sexually assaulting her before she allegedly assaulted him.

"He (also) gave evidence that he had deleted all the text messages between himself and my client before going to a police station and on three separate occasions gave officers different versions," he said.

"He has some real creditability issues."

Mr Butler has previously said he and Taylor drank wine on the mother of three's balcony before moving to the bedroom, where he allegedly kissed, cuddled and groped the former model.

It's alleged Ebrahimi then bashed and tied up Mr Butler before he and Taylor raided their victim's online accounts.

Taylor and Ebrahimi were committed in July to stand trial in the Brisbane District Court over the alleged offences in April next year.