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Murderer Phillip John Smith denied parole

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/06/2017
Phillip John Smith © New Zealand Police. Phillip John Smith

Murderer and sex offender Phillip John Smith has been declined parole after the Parole Board considered him still to be a danger to the community.

Smith, 43, was given a life sentence in 1995 for murdering the father of a 12-year-old Wellington boy he had been molesting.

He also gained notoriety for his 2014 escape from jail, where he fled to Brazil.

He committed fraud in prison between 2006 and 2010, the Parole Board report released on Friday says.

His other convictions included extortion and attempted arson.

According to the report, Smith was assessed as still posing a high risk of reoffending, even though his security classification has been low/medium since December.

He was considered a "high priority" for psychological services in a special violent treatment programme, but the board said Smith was disappointed that he had not been able to participate in the programme yet.

"As in all cases the paramount consideration for us is the safety of the community. Given the offending history we are not prepared to be other than extremely cautious in the light of the current psychological opinion."

The board also asked media not to contact Smith's murder victim's family.

Smith won a legal challenge against Corrections in March over a decision to take away his toupe.

His next parole hearing will be in May 2019.

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