Phillip John Smith, who was convicted of killing the father of a boy he molested, will get a $3500 government payout after he won a court case centred around his toupee.
The Department of Corrections prevented Smith from wearing the custom-made hairpiece after he used it to disguise himself when he fled to Brazil while on temporary release, Fairfax reported.
Smith argued in the High Court in March his rights had been breached.
Justice Edwin Wylie agreed and said Corrections had ignored Smith's "fundamental right to freedom of expression", Fairfax reported.
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He ordered Corrections to pay Smith $3507.10, which includes $3450 for legal costs, $35 for phone cards and $22.10 for stationery.
Smith took the Department of Corrections to court because it had prevented him wearing a hairpiece ever since he used one as part of a disguise to flee to Rio de Janeiro in November 2014.
At the time of his escape, he was on a temporary release while serving a life sentence for the 1995 murder of the father of a 12-year-old Wellington boy he had been molesting.
The High Court at Auckland ruled the department had failed to take into account Smith's rights under the Bill of Rights Act, and said Smith's fundamental right to freedom of expression was ignored.
Langley said Corrections will be allowing Smith to retain the toupee under certain conditions while he is housed in his "current security environment" at Auckland Prison.
Representing himself in court in March, Smith said the days after he was returned to custody were among the lowest in his life because New Zealand newspapers ran pictures of him appearing bald on their front pages.
"I felt belittled, degraded and humiliated," he said.
He told the court he began going bald in his early 20s and hairpieces gave him the confidence to present himself in public.
Smith argued prison authorities had not given him a valid reason for why he could not wear a hairpiece and used exaggerated concerns about security to justify their decision.