Murderer and child sex offender Phillip John Smith's claims that he was aided in his escape to Brazil by a prison guard have angered inmates at the country's toughest prison, where he is being kept in isolation.
Smith is in segregation within the maximum-security unit at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo and a source said he was "very disliked" by the other inmates after he claimed this week that a prison officer helped him plan his escape.
Smith fled the country last month while on temporary release from Springhill Prison near Te Kauwhata. He was recaptured a week later in Rio de Janiero and returned to New Zealand. A police investigation is under way into his escape and who helped him.
On Wednesday, his lawyer, Dr Tony Ellis, released a statement handwritten by Smith that alleged a prison officer helped him to obtain a passport and gave him a smartphone and movies.
Smith further alleged he received "numerous benefits" from the officer from the time of their first meeting to some time between October and November 2012.
A prison source said the other inmates disliked Smith and were annoyed at the attention he was getting.
"No one likes him. The feeling up there is that Phillip Smith is lying about the corruption by the prison officer ... it's a complete fantasy.
"They think he is trying to cover up for [someone else]. Why would you give up a prison guard?"
In 1995, Smith stabbed to death the father of a boy he had been sexually abusing, after tracking the family down to a Wellington house where they had moved to escape him.
The source said no prison officer in their right mind would help a child sex offender.
"They are bottom of the heap, the bottom of the criminal world, and it's very unlikely a prison officer would collude with him because of that low status and the high chance of being given up by him."
The Corrections Department's northern regional commissioner, Jeanette Burns, said Smith's allegations were "as yet unsubstantiated and incomplete". The matter had been referred to the police.
"The allegations may turn out to be serious but until they're properly investigated and tested in court they remain just that, allegations."