A white supremacist banned from Christchurch's two mosques and from having contact with all Muslims has lost an appeal against his strict release conditions.

Philip Neville Arps, 45, who was sentenced to 21 months in prison last June for spreading disturbing footage of the Al Noor Mosque massacre, was freed from custody on January 29.

Release conditions included that Arps is electronically-monitored with a GPS tracker, an ankle bracelet that will trigger alerts if he enters "exclusion zones" around Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Masjid in Christchurch where the shootings happened.

It came after the Department of Corrections applied for extra release conditions, on top of the raft of conditions imposed on Arps when he was sentenced at Christchurch District Court on June 18 - including a blanket internet ban, inspections of any electronic device capable of accessing the internet, counselling, and drug or alcohol treatment programmes.

Advertisement

READ MORE:
Corrections seeks extra release conditions for Philip Arps jailed over mosque shooting video
Christchurch mosque shootings: Philip Arps loses appeal against strict prison release conditions
Christchurch white supremacist Philip Neville Arps banned from mosques and contact with Muslims
Christchurch man doctored footage of mosque shootings for white supremacist Philip Arps

Corrections officials said they had "ongoing concerns" about Arps' risk to the public, in particular to the Muslim community, after fears over his "general behaviour" towards prison staff, along with intercepted letters and phone calls.

The content of those letters and phone conversations were suppressed by Judge Stephen O'Driscoll at a special hearing over Arps' prison release conditions at Christchurch District Court back in January.

Judge O'Driscoll approved extra special release conditions, which included a ban on Arps entering or loitering near any mosque, prayer room, or any other place where the Muslim community congregates, without prior written approval from his probation officer.

The Christchurch businessman, who owns a Nazi-themed insulation company, is also not allowed to contact or associate with any Muslims without approval.

Corrections said the moves were for "victim safety" and felt that jail time hadn't reduced his risk to the Muslim community.

Arps, who does not hold a gun licence and has more than 30 previous criminal convictions for indecent assault, guns, drugs, burglary, and fraud, is also not allowed to possess or use firearms, or to be involved in airsoft or BB gun activities.

Arps unsuccessfully challenged the extra conditions sought by Corrections.

Advertisement

Now he's failed again – with an appeal to the High Court concluding that Judge O'Driscoll was right to impose the stringent conditions.

"[Arps] found a way, very soon after the murders and other crimes of 15 March 2019, both to trivialise and to glorify horrific crimes against a particular community," said Justice Robert Osborne in his ruling released today.

"The fact that the killer's acts are now, by virtue of his guilty pleas, able to be formally characterised as crimes, serves to reinforce conclusions earlier reached in regard to the avoidance of further trauma to members of Christchurch's Muslim community."

Through defence counsel Anselm Williams, Arps tried to argue that the prison release conditions were "neither necessary nor proportionate".

In dismissing the appeal, Justice Osborne noted that Arps appears to have a "deep-seated enmity towards people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths".

"The enmity has been manifested in vitriolic language and activity. It seemingly occupies his mind both when he is awake and asleep," he said.

It has led him into offending on two occasions in recent years. In 2016, Arps was one of a group of men who filmed themselves doing Hitler salutes as they delivered boxes of pigs heads and offal to the Al Noor mosque.

"White power … Bring on the cull," Arps was seen saying in the video.

In that case, he was convicted of offensive behaviour and fined $800.

The second resulted in his pleading guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable publications in 2019 in the form of edited video footage of the March 15 shootings.

At the hearing in January, a Corrections official who gave evidence, said that Arps, who compares himself to Adolf Hitler's deputy and war criminal Rudolf Hess, found anyone who disagrees with his belief system to be offensive.

She fears he could harm the Muslim community again "through his views … most likely through online advocacy".

The Muslim Association of Canterbury supported the extra release conditions, saying the community is "still very much traumatised" and that it was imperative that Arps, who maintains his anti-Muslim rhetoric, cannot visit or be seen around mosques nationwide.

Corrections also expressed concern over Arps' business Beneficial Insulation, with its various Nazi symbols and white supremacist messages, and sought a condition that prevents him from using his employment as a platform to promote extreme views.

However, Judge O'Driscoll did not impose that condition.