Phillip Smith's sister sentenced

  • 21/01/2016

Joanne Smith, sister of convicted murderer Phillip Smith, has been sentenced to eight months' home detention for assisting his escape from lawful custody.

Smith, 33, pleaded guilty in November to assisting her brother escape by helping with a passport application.

In sentencing today, Judge David Sharp said he had considered giving her a prison sentence, but said she fell into the category of people least likely to re-offend.

The court was told Ms Smith was 23 weeks pregnant and was particularly vulnerable.

Her brother is serving a life sentence for the murder of a man whose son he had been abusing.

Phillip Smith was on temporary release from Spring Hill Prison in Waikato when he allegedly fled to South America in November 2014 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.

His lawyers have asked for the case to be thrown out because of a police media blitz following his release they argue prejudiced his right to a fair trial.