16 Oct 2020

Phillip Smith loses appeal over fleeing prison for Brazil

12:37 pm on 16 October 2020

Convicted murderer and sex offender Phillip John Smith has lost his appeal against a conviction for escaping from prison in New Zealand in 2014, when he fled to Brazil.

Phillip Smith

Convicted murderer and sex offender Phillip John Smith. Photo: RNZ / Murielle Baker

From prison, Smith, who is serving a life sentence for murdering the father of a boy he was sexually abusing, had renewed his passport under his birth name Traynor.

He absconded while on temporary release from Spring Hill prison and was recaptured in Brazil six days later.

Smith had argued that Brazilian authorities did not follow due process in deporting him, and New Zealand authorities failed to question this.

However, the Court of Appeal has ruled Smith failed to prove there was any abuse of process that would justify overturning his conviction.

Smith had earlier admitted escaping from lawful custody and passport fraud.

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