Phillip SMITH - 28/05/2020

Parole Hearing

Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002

Phillip John SMITH

Hearing: 28 May 2020

at Rimutaka Prison via VMR from NZ Parole Board, Head Office Wellington

Members of the Board:

Sir Ron Young – Chairperson

Assoc Prof. P Brinded

Dr G Coyle


  1. Phillip John Smith is 45 years of age.  He was convicted of murder in 1995.  Prior to that he had unlawfully sexually assaulted a young person.  The murder arose from that offending.
  2. Since he has been in prison he committed a number of fraud offences between 2007 and 2010.  In 2013-2014 he escaped from custody and travelled to South America.  Eventually, he was returned and was sentenced to imprisonment for escaping and offences under the Passport Act.
  3. We saw him last in May 2019. The Board identified the need for him to undertake the Special Treatment Unit Rehabilitation Programme (STURP) for violence and the Child Sex Offender Treatment Programme (CSOTP) arising from his sexual offending to reduce what was his undue risk.
  4. Unfortunately, neither programme has begun.  We are told however, it had been proposed that he be transferred to Rolleston Prison in April 2020 for commencement of the CSOTP but that had been delayed because of the Covid-19 epidemic. A transfer shortly apparently is likely.
  5. When we questioned Mr Smith about his preparedness to do the programme he said he was prepared to do so although he did not think it necessary.  He referred us to submissions filed by [withheld] who is described as a legal executive. We take those submissions into account in our assessment of undue risk.  Mr Smith said he was seeking parole today.
  6. We are satisfied that Mr Smith remains an undue risk and cannot currently be released.
  7. We agree with the assessment of the psychologist that Mr Smith again needs to undertake the CSOTP as well as the STURP programme for violence.  Mr Smith has a record of violent offending, the brutal killing of a man, serious sexual offending against children and dishonesty offending while he was imprisoned.  His escape involved significant dishonesty and deceit after he had convinced authorities that he was a reduced risk. All of these are relevant factors in assessing his risk in the community.  It remains in our assessment high.
  8. We will see him again in two years’ time, by the end of April 2022 in the hope that he has been able to complete these programmes and can move towards reintegration should his risk have been reduced by his attendance at the rehabilitative programmes mentioned.

Sir Ron Young