- Politics and Social Issues»
- Australia & Pacific Political & Social Issues
Curiouser and curiouser
I see Philip John Traynor, a.k.a. Philip John Smith was let out of jail by a bloke called stupidity according to his father. And it is hard to argue with Mr Traynor on that point apart from adding that Mr Stupidity had a lot of his equally named family assisting him with this cock-up of monumental proportions.
In fact this is such a monumental cock-up that I believe stonemasons have already been contracted to build a permanent monument to it in the office of the Minister of Mistakes, Sam Lotu-liga. Although having said that, it has to be acknowledged that Sam is a pretty recent appointment to that role and we should probably be putting that statue outside the office of previous Minister Anne Tolley.
For those who might be reading this outside of New Zealand, Philip Smith is a notorious criminal who has a long list of convictions for a wide range of crimes dating back over the last 25 years. Most recently he was jailed for ‘life’ with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years after he had been sexually abusing a 13 year-old boy and then killed the boy’s father by stabbing him in the neck, and (somewhere in this mix) also abducted and held the boy’s mother and brother hostage at gunpoint.
In between being charged with the sexual abuse of the 13 year-old boy he was bailed (FFS) despite the fact he already had convictions for attempting to pervert the course of justice and intimidating witnesses.
Two weeks after being granted this bail he was back in custody charged with extortion of another man. Following his court appearance he escaped police custody and at his next court appearance he was bailed again (How many judges do we actually have without a brain?). Oh but it was going to be alright because the judge said he mustn’t contact the family of the boy he had abused and of course that was an absolute guarantee that he wouldn’t wasn’t it?
Well, no actually it wasn’t back here on planet reality and instead he went and tracked the family down, stabbed the father to death and took the mother and the boy’s brother hostage at gunpoint.
He was eventually taken back into custody and given that life sentence. However as is so often the case that was not the end of the story. Smith first became eligible for parole in 2009 and that was denied after it was discovered he had committed a series of frauds while inside prison and had been running a business without permission from prison authorities. Call me old-fashioned, but I cannot for the life of me understand why somebody who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment is allowed to operate a business while in prison with or without permission.
Smith was again denied parole in 2011 after concerns were raised about “violent, callous and manipulative aspects of his offending” and at a second parole hearing that year his parole was postponed for a further two years.
In 2013 he appeared again and parole was declined once more, but this time approval was given for a series of temporary 12 hour releases. Despite these, when he is seen again by the parole board in March 2014 they still assess his likelihood of re-offending as high and say that fraud would be his most likely offence, yet they recommend further temporary releases and these are now extended to three days.
On Thursday 6 November Smith was collected by a female relative who was acting as his sponsor and who was supposed to be taking him to her place for the release with a view to him being returned to custody on Sunday 9 November and this is where it gets really interesting. The first time Corrections knew that anything had gone wrong was when he did not return to prison on the Sunday.
In other words nobody at the prison appears to have thought it a good idea to check that this convicted murderer, child abuser, kidnapper, and fraudster had actually gone where he had said he was going until four fucking days after he had left their custody!
Subsequent investigations have uncovered that Smith had actually boarded a plane on the very day he left prison and headed to Chile, a country with whom we have no extradition treaty. He had obtained a brand new passport in his birth name of Philip John Traynor and simply bought himself a ticket to Chile and flown away. He didn’t even have an electronic bracelet fitted for his ‘outings’!
Corrections staff are busy covering their sorry arses and still (incredibly) claiming that their system did not break down, which I can only conclude means that it was meant to work like that. Did somebody at Corrections come up with a cunning plan to get them out of the messy business of having to monitor this guy forever and a day following his inevitable release?
So many questions arise from this incident, which, let’s face it, has been a cock-up rolled out over at least 15 years and involving outrageous incompetence by judges, police, corrections staff, the parole board and ultimately the Crown. It is difficult to think of a more catastrophic catalogue of events even in our dreadfully incompetent and dysfunctional justice system.
As a result of judicial incompetence two men have died; one by his own hand (the man in the fraud case) and one by the direct actions of Philip John Smith. Both deaths could have been avoided if the judges involved had kept a man who even a person with an IQ lower than their chronological age could have seen was not safe to be out in the community. Both of those judges should be serving terms of imprisonment for their fatally flawed decision making which goes well beyond the level of a simple mistake.
Now we have a situation where this lunatic is free again. Although hopefully he actually is in Chile - or Brazil as the more recent police information has it (I won’t call it police intelligence for obvious and oxymoronic reasons). If he is; then there is a good chance that sooner or later he will run afoul of some other lawless types whose way of dealing with people that cross them is more direct.
Hopefully that rellie of Smith’s will be residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure shortly because she had to be involved considering she picked him up and quite obviously was either the person who took him to his flight or at the very least allowed him to go somewhere he was not authorised to be.
Meanwhile numb nuts like hopelessly incompetent idiot Jeremy Lightfoot who draws a hefty salary at our expense to stuff up the role of National Commissioner of Corrections further fucked things up by spending the first 12 hours after he heard that Smith was on the loose blubbing in the dunny (or whatever – we have no explanation for what he did during this time) and trying to find a way to cover his arse before eventually getting around to notifying Smith’s victims. Thankfully on this occasion were still alive and had not been taken hostage.
Genius Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess tells us Smith must have had help. Oh really? You surprise me, Mr Burgess. Not with the fact that he had help, but with the fact you have actually figured this out!
So why does this shit happen? How come time after time idiot judges release lunatics with violent tendencies to wreak even worse damage upon innocent citizens, when the obvious thing is to lock them up for the safety of all the law-abiding people?
I have a theory and I alluded to it earlier when I said Corrections might have helped this bastard escape. If you want to bring in legislation that is not going to be popular and is likely to cause public opinion to go against you, what do you do?
The answer is simple and it has been practised many times by many different Governments including those in the US, UK, Australia and here in New Zealand. You create a climate of fear and then you come up with a draconian measure that appears to be the only remaining hope for sorting the situation out.
You can see it happening now in regards to tougher legislation to counter “terrorists’ and you will soon see it in regards to many other freedoms we currently enjoy. In this regard the so-called Sensible Sentencing Trust is fanning the flames of this particular forest fire with all of their calls for more and more legislation.
We don’t need more legislation; we simply need fewer idiots charged with administering it. You can have all the laws in creation but if you still have dimwits charged with handling the criminals and handing down the sentences and setting the bail conditions, and keeping track of them when they are in custody then it will all be a gigantic waste of time.
The lunatics are running the asylum a.k.a our justice system and it’s time for the Queen of Hearts to come in and sort them all out.