Who is Phillip John Smith?

Phillip John Smith
Phillip John Smith

Convicted murderer Phillip John Smith has a string of convictions including extortion and aggravated robbery.

In 1996, Smith was imprisoned for killing the father of a boy he molested. He was also convicted of molesting the boy over a three-year period.

Smith stabbed the 35-year-old Wellington man 19 times as he tried to protect his son, 13.

The man was never named, to prevent identification of his son. 

Smith was sentenced in April 1996 to two-and-a-half years in prison for extorting money from an Auckland businessman the previous year.

The man committed suicide after receiving a letter from Smith asking for $25,000.

Smith had said if he did not get the money he would make public sexual misconduct allegations about an affair the man was having with another man.

Smith amassed 20 convictions in the five years before being sentenced for extortion and being found guilty of murder, aggravated robbery and six sexual offences.

Among those offences were fraud, possession of a firearm, assault with a blunt instrument, common assault, attempted arson, cultivating cannabis, making a false statement to police, theft and escaping custody.

In 2011, it was revealed Smith had also stalked the victim's family from jail, sending an associate to a family member's house with the message "Smith says hello".

From 2008, Smith also ran a business selling Chinese electronics from behind bars through a company he had set up.

In a 2013 decision, Justice Warwick Gendall denied Smith parole, stating that the Parole Board was satisfied Smith "remains at high risk of posing a serious danger to the community".

"We do not accept that his claim that the murder and kidnap offences arose out of spur of the moment panic, given the established facts, as to how he committed those appalling crimes."

His fraudulent activities from jail were also indications that he was a high risk offender, Jusice Gendall said.

"Mr Smith is intelligent. But he has been duplicitous, for example, he minimised his fraud offending whilst in prison contending that it was for the benefit of other prisoners. Clearly he had obtained financial benefit.

"Much more work was required from Smith to prove he could live and work in the community", Justice Gendall said.

"However, we support the proposition that there be very cautious and slow steps for reintegration into the community. They may involve temporary absences or escorted releases, as and when the Department of Corrections consider appropriate."