The sister of convicted murderer Phillip Smith has pleaded guilty to assisting his escape from lawful custody.
Joanne Smith, 33, entered a guilty plea through her lawyer in Auckland District Court today to assisting his escape by helping with a passport application.
Judge Nevin Dawson remanded her on bail and ordered her to appear for sentencing on December 18.
Phillip Smith was on temporary release from Spring Hill Prison in Waikato when he allegedly fled to South America on November 6 last year using a passport issued under his birth name Phillip Traynor.
He was arrested in Brazil and now faces charges of escaping custody and of false representation in relation to obtaining his passport.
Last week he told a court his chances of a fair trial had been damaged by excessive prejudicial publicity.