White supremacist Philip Neville Arps will be released from prison tonight, after serving half of his 21 month jail term for distributing video of the Christchurch terrorist attack.
The Christchurch District Court has heard last minute arguments around his release conditions, which will see him put under electronic location monitoring and banned from entering or loitering near any mosque, prayer room, or any other area where the Muslim community congregates.
The conditions, which be in force for the remainder of the term, will also see him banned from using any firearms, including airsoft rifles.
The 45-year-old was sentenced to 21 months behind bars in June last year, after admitting to sending a video of the March 15 attack to 30 people. He also asked a friend to edit the clip to add cross hairs and a “kill count”, similar to those seen in video games.
Arps is known for repeatedly making highly charged comments about the Muslim and Jewish communities, including leaving a pig’s head outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, and operating a business that used Nazi symbolism.
Under New Zealand law, prisoners who are sentenced to a jail term of less than two years, are automatically eligible for release into the community upon serving half of their time. Time spent on remand while going through the court system counts towards that allocation.
However, the court heard how the Department of Corrections was concerned about 49 letters and other calls Arps had made while incarcerated and sought extra conditions for the remainder of this sentence. The contents of those letters and calls are suppressed.
He will be released later this evening and kept under close supervision, with any breach of his conditions within the term likely to see him recalled to jail.