Corrections’ Ray Smith on Philip Smith: “We failed”

Turns out, with some navel gazing, the pedo turned murderer shouldn’t even have been out there all by himself.



[E]scaped murderer and paedophile Phillip John Smith should never have been let out of Spring Hill Prison on temporary release in the first place.

A Corrections review has concluded the department’s plans for Smith, who skipped the country for Brazil, were over-ambitious and misinformed, and it makes more than a dozen recommendations.

Smith was dumb enough to get recaptured, but he still outwitted Corrections.

“We failed,” says Corrections chief executive Ray Smith. “We failed to manage a serious offender on temporary release. I absolutely accept that.”

They should feel lucky that it only turned into the farce that it has – he could have gone properly underground and be grooming new kids to be his victims by now.  

The release plan for Smith, who stalked and stabbed to death the father of a boy he sexually molested, was described as “over-ambitious and misinformed”.

In 2013 that plan saw Smith leave prison with Corrections staff four times. That progressed to temporary releases of eight to 12 hours in the care of a sponsor.

By May this year Smith was released for 24 hours. In June he was released for 48 hours, and in September he was outside in a sponsor’s care for 72 hours. Smith was given all that freedom, even though the Parole Board never indicated it would release him in the foreseeable future.

Smith, who’s said to be “highly manipulative, deceptive and focused on beating the system” used the freedom to do exactly that.

“I think that plan went far too fast and was premature,” says Mr Smith.

The female sponsor who took responsibility for Smith on his last release didn’t follow the most basic rule – never leave him unaccompanied.

And let me guess, there are no repercussions for a “sponsor” that doesn’t step up to meet his or her obligations?

The report makes 13 recommendations, including GPS monitors for all prisoners on temporary release and a review of the programme, including the choice and training of sponsors.

And let’s send an email to all airports warning them here is a pedo murderer that might want to leave the country.

Yeah, I know, it’s absurd, but so is the fact that they currently don’t know who isn’t allowed to leave.


– Lisa Owen, 3 News

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