Convicted murderer and paedophile wins right to wear his toupee in prison

Convicted murderer wins lawsuit over his confiscated toupee

The man's toupee was confiscated (Stock image)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A convicted murderer and child molester has won a lawsuit after claiming a prison breached his rights by confiscating his wig.

In 2012 Phillip John Smith was given permission to wear the piece at New Zealand's Auckland Prison, in order "to improve his self esteem," according to France 24.

But two years later he used the toupee to disguise himself when he fled from New Zealand to Brazil while on temporary release.

After this he was returned to New Zealand and three weeks later his toupee was taken away from him.

Smith then had to appear in court without the piece, appearing in the media which he said left him feeling "belittled, degraded and humiliated."

During the case about his toupee, the man also told the court that he is extremely sensitive about his baldness and the piece is part of his ongoing rehabilitation.

In a written statement the judge said: "I have concluded that Mr. Smith's fundamental right to freedom of expression was ignored."

Smith was sentenced to life in 1996 after sexually abusing a boy for three years. The boy's family then moved to another city, but the man tracked them down again.

He then broke into their new home and stabbed the child's father to death.