A New Zealand-born man who has lived in Australia since he was a two-year-old has won a battle against deportation.
He was jailed for four years for assaulting and choking a woman while high on drugs.
The 35-year-old man, who has not been named, told the administrative appeals tribunal he only found out he was not an Australian citizen last year.
The tribunal, which rules on appeals by potential deportees, heard how he and others kicked and punched the woman when she was unconscious.
The judge who sentenced him in 2017 said four offenders attacked the woman in their home.
“She then attempted to leave but the offender grabbed onto a hood on her jumper and pulled her backwards down the hall.
“The force caused her to collide with the hallway. She fell to the ground [and] he continued to pull the hood around her neck restricting her breathing.
As she was regaining consciousness she heard two of the offenders saying: “You’ve killed her.”
He replied: “Put her in the boot and we’ll go to Lithgow, they won’t find her there.”
The tribunal said that there was a high-risk of the father-of-five re-offending, including violent crime, if he resumed drug-taking – and that he could be sent back to New Zealand if he did.
“[The psychologist] found the applicant to be mature, have clear judgment, and strong motivation to deal with his problems and remain crime free,” the tribunal ruled.
“He has lived here for 33 years since he was about two years old. His siblings, their children, his partner and her children all live here. He has other relatives and friends here.
“The applicant would be socially isolated in New Zealand. He knows no-one there. He has not visited there since he was a child.
“The Tribunal takes into account that that Australian community may afford a higher level of tolerance of the applicant’s criminal conduct because he has lived in Australia from a young age and for almost his entire life.”