Face of the day

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Phillip Smith with a virtual hair piece to give him back his dignity

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Err, just Phillip Smith with a virtual hair piece.


Convicted murderer and paedophile Phillip Smith is on a hunger strike at Auckland Prison – claiming his dignity is being taken away, his lawyer says.

Tony Ellis, said Smith, who was recaptured after absconding from temporary release last month and fleeing to Brazil, said his client has been denied access to his possessions.

Ellis said Smith had been assessed by the prison as being at risk of harming himself, which Smith disputed.

“He may have been [a risk to himself] three days ago, who knows, but he didn’t look like he was today.

Smith was being kept in a “depressing” environment where he was “dressed in a hospital-type gown, his hair piece has been taken away, his glasses, there’s nothing in the cell, no toilet, reading matter, writing matter, no tv or radio, there’s nothing in there.”

“It is very depressing when you’re put in a cell that’s not quite sensory deprivation but not far from it, it’s complete boredom and that’s because he’s supposed to be at risk,” Ellis said.

Ellis has asked the prison to reassess Smith’s risk to himself, but did not know how long he planned to continue the hunger strike.

Smith had told Ellis he was on a hunger strike because the conditions he had been put in had stripped him of his dignity.

“It’s a difficult thing to go on hunger strike, it needs an awful lot of willpower and internal strength,” Ellis said.

– Stuff

I really only have one thing to say. At least give him a book. Is it possible to kill yourself with a book? I wouldn’t think so but I guess a determined person could try to choke to death on the pages as I saw it done in an episode of Prisoner years ago.

Look at the bright side Phillip, at least in New Zealand you have a room to yourself. Manipulating the system here may not be as easy this time round. Best you adjust and quickly.

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