17 Dec 2014

Man charged over Phillip Smith passport

5:56 pm on 17 December 2014

A Whanganui man has appeared in court accused of lying to passport officials about where convicted murdered and sex offender Phillip John Smith was living.

Christoper Ryan Clifton, 25, appeared in the Whanganui District Court this morning and was remanded on bail to appear again in January.

Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith at a video-linked court appearance on 9 December. Photo: RNZ / Murielle Baker

He was charged with making a false oral statement that Smith, also known as Phillip John Traynor, lived at a certain address. That address is suppressed.

Smith's passport renewal was made in June last year.

The convicted murderer left New Zealand on 6 November while on a three-day release from Spring Hill prison in Waikato, flying to Chile and on to Brazil. He was detained in Rio de Janeiro on 13 November and returned to New Zealand.

If convicted, Christoper Clifton faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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