16 Feb 2015

Woman charged with helping Smith escape

2:41 pm on 16 February 2015

Police have charged a woman with helping the convicted murderer and paedophile Phillip John Smith escape.

Phillip Smith

Phillip John Smith Photo: RNZ / Murielle Baker

Smith left New Zealand in November while on a three-day release from the Spring Hill prison in Waikato, flying to Chile and on to Brazil.

He was later detained in Rio de Janeiro and returned to New Zealand.

Police said a 33-year-old Palmerston North woman had been summonsed to appear in the Auckland District Court next week charged with assisting Smith to escape lawful custody.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.