Notorious criminal Arthur ‘Neddy’ Smith ‘close to death’
NOTORIOUS hitman Arthur "Neddy" Smith is clinging to life at Prince of Wales Hospital.
He was transferred to hospital from Long Bay Correctional Centre believed to be suffering heart failure after battling Stage 4 Parkinson's disease.
The Daily Telegraph has been told he is close to death with family members rushing to see him in hospital.
The 74-year-old has suffered a deterioration in health over the past decade, leaving him mostly wheelchair bound.
Smith has been in and out of hospital for heart problems and other infections but seemingly against the odds has bounced back every time.
He was however well enough to manage an escape attempt from hospital in 2017, when he allegedly snuck past two guards but was stopped by a nurse in the corridor.
Smith has been in prison since 1989 where he is serving two life sentences for murder.
Smith was acquitted of the 1986 murder of prostitute Sallie-Anne Huckstepp.
Sallie-Anne Huckstepp was a Sydney prostitute and heroin addict who became a writer and whistleblower before being murdered in 1986.
No one has been convicted of her murder despite one of the longest running inquests of its kind in Australia - 1987 to 1991.
Smith achieved infamy in the 1980s after developing a close relationship with corrupt police detective Roger Rogerson.
In his autobiography, The Life and Crimes of Arthur Stanley Smith, he wrote: "There has always been crime and corruption within the NSW police force, but nothing like it was [in the 1980s]. … I could never have committed any of the major crimes I did, and got away with them, without the assistance of the NSW police force.
"They were the best police force that money could buy - believe me, because I bought them hundreds of times."
Smith has spent much of his life in prison due to his involvement in armed robbery, heroin trafficking and murder.
It is in prison where he married his ex-wife and mother of his two children Debra.
Neddy Smith turned whistleblower and was a star witness for the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Wood Royal Commission.
He received immunity for all crimes he had committed except for murder in exchange for testifying against former NSW detective Roger Rogerson and others.
More recently a Western Australian inquest heard Smith was paid $5000 to fly to Perth and murder brothel madam Shirley Finn.
Evidence from a former police officer at the inquest two years ago said Smith flew to Perth on the day in 1975 when she died.