Balding convicted child sex offender turns on the man who helped him escape

via Radiolive

via Radiolive

Corruption charges have been laid against the prison guard who Phillip John Smith claimed helped him escape to Brazil.

The murderer and child sex offender fled New Zealand in November while on temporary release from Spring Hill Prison but was caught in Rio de Janeiro after being recognised by a fellow backpacker in a hostel.

Smith was deported and pleaded not guilty to charges of escaping lawful custody and making a false statement to renew a passport.

His younger sister Joanne has been charged with helping him escape, which she denies, while a fellow inmate, Christopher Ryan Clifton, admitted making a false statement to help Smith get a passport.

On his return to New Zealand, Smith released a handwritten statement which claimed a Corrections officer helped him to obtain a passport and gave him a smartphone and movies. Smith further alleged he received “numerous benefits” from the time of their first meeting to some time between October and November 2012

Smith really is a piece of work. ?From here on in people should be quite clear that he will stop at nothing, including ratting out people who helped him, to get what he wants.

“An Auckland man has been summonsed to appear in court on two charges of corruption in relation to the ongoing investigation into the escape of Philip John Smith in November 2014,” an Auckland City police district spokeswoman confirmed.

Sikora will appear in the North Shore District Court next month.

At the time Smith raised his allegations, Corrections Department northern regional commissioner Jeanette Burns said they were “as yet unsubstantiated and incomplete”.

“The allegations may turn out to be serious but until they’re properly investigated and tested in court they remain just that, allegations.”

Yesterday, she said “this person is no longer employed by Corrections” but could not comment further as this matter was before the court.

Smith can clearly never be released again. ?He is a poster child for preventative detention, and the fact he was even being re-integrated into the community should set of huge alarms.

Smith’s escape is now the subject of a high-level government inquiry.

I would be focusing more on how to keep him inside, rather than how he got out.


– Jared Savage, A newspaper