12 Nov 2014

Fugitive's statement

8:32 am on 12 November 2014

In an exclusive statement to Radio New Zealand News, convicted murderer and sex offender Phillip John Smith says he decided to flee overseas after the result of his latest parole hearing and no-one helped him escape.

The fugitive fled last week, using a passport he obtained last year under his birth name, Phillip Traynor.

He had been on 72-hour release from Spring Hill prison in Waikato when he absconded and flew to Chile, and on to Brazil.

Smith said he left New Zealand to escape the “vigilante justice system”. He was confident he could leave the country after he conducted criminal background checks on his legal name and found there was no link his criminal record.

Responding to emailed questions, he would not confirm whether he was still in Brazil as New Zealand authorities believe, but said he was in a country where he knew it would be difficult to extradite him from.

READ Phillip Smith’s full statement on radionz.co.nz

New Zealand police said yesterday a New Zealand police officer would go to Brazil to join in the hunt for him.

Smith was jailed in 1996 for murder, aggravated robbery, sexual violation, indecent assault on a boy and kidnapping.