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Murderer sues Corrections over hair piece

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/11/2016

Phillip John Smith © New Zealand Police. Phillip John Smith Convicted murderer Phillip John Smith is suing prison authorities for taking away a hair piece he used as a disguise to flee the country.

Smith fled to Rio de Janeiro in November 2014 while serving a life sentence for the 1995 murder of the father of a 12-year-old Wellington boy he had been molesting.

He was detained soon-after by Brazilian authorities and deported back to New Zealand.

Before fleeing the country, he had earlier applied for a New Zealand passport under his birth name, Phillip Traynor, and donned a hair piece to fool authorities.

Smith's lawyer Dr Tony Ellis released a statement advising Smith would be representing himself in the Auckland High Court in March 2017.

"Phillip, who has not had his hairpiece returned since his escape to Brazil, is suing Corrections in the High Court Auckland," the statement said.

"His claim ... involves allegations that the decision was made in breach of natural justice and without reasons, and breaches his freedom of expression, and fails to treat him with dignity and respect."

Smith has also filed a claim in the High Court seeking to have Corrections' decision to stop allowing hundreds of prisoners temporary releases and releases-to-work, following his escape to Brazil, struck out.

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