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Killer Phillip Smith caught by Brazil Customs observing hunger strike

Killer Phillip Smith caught by Brazil Customs observing hunger strike

BRASILIA: Recalled killer Phillip John Smith, who was arrested by Brazil customs, is observing hunger strike for grabbing his possessions from him.

The convicted killer and child molester was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on November 13, a week after fleeing New Zealand while on temporary release from Spring Hill Corrections Facility in South Auckland.

He was deported from Brazil and returned to New Zealand last week, where he will continue serving a life sentence for murder and sexual offending.

His lawyer Tony Ellis said that since returning to prison Smith had been “stripped of his inherent dignity”.

He visited Smith yesterday morning in Paremoremo prison and said his client’s hairpiece, glasses and clothing had been taken from him.

After Smith absconded his unusual hairstyle was noted, and photographs from when he went through Customs and during his arrest show he appeared to have a very different hair style from his earlier thinning hair.

“He is locked in his cell for 23 hours a day, he’s got no toilet, books, writing material, no television, no radio,” Mr Ellis said.

Because Smith was assessed as “at risk” he was not allowed to have access to these items.

“I’ve asked for them to reassess him” Mr Ellis said.