John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Phillip Smith's sister hurt by 'bombshell'

Phillip Smith's half-sister Joanne, whose house was raided by police this week, is focused on looking after her children after the "bombshell" news of the convicted killer's escape and recapture.

Joanne Smith's partner today said she had left Highbury, Palmerston North, but was in no trouble with police.

He said he wasn't sure if Joanne wanted to make contact with Phillip in Brazil.

"She's pretty hurt by it all." He said the news of Smith's escape stunned him. "It was a bombshell that was dropped on here on Saturday." He said Joanne was looking after her two children. At least one of the children had not previously known of Phillip Smith's convictions.

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He said media attention after the international manhunt and police raids had forced Joanne to reconsider her future.

"She doesn't want to stay here." Joanne sponsored Phillip's release and flew from Palmerston North to pick him up from the prison last Thursday.

He earlier said Joanne left her half-brother with another sponsor.

The controversy has also shocked Joanne's flatmate.

"I didn't know she actually had a brother." The flatmate said he last saw Joanne yesterday morning.

The flatmate, who asked his name not be used, said Joanne was possibly "naive"but a considerate person.

"She'd do anything for anyone."

- NZME.

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