Oz government refuses compensation for NZ violent drug offender
The Australian government has knocked back an Australian Human Rights Commission claim on behalf of a convicted NZ criminal.
New Zealander Maria Brown was arrested for visa violations connected with her serious criminal record and placed in Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre to await deportation after her visa was cancelled. She had arrived in Australia in 1997, and became a major player in criminal activities in the Sydney suburb of Airds.
Her son joined her in 1998, and police reports from that date to 2009 show the pair heavily involved in a life of crime, terrorising the suburb. Evidence of the pair’s convictions, including several for drug and stolen property charges, were shown by the authorities at her appeal against deportation in 2009.
After her arrest for contravening her visa’s character grounds, Brown lodged a complaint against her detention, saying she had been kept with male prisoners who had made sexual comments and exposed themselves to her. Australian Human Rights Commission president Catherine Branson reported that Brown should have been detained in a community facility, and urged the government to offer her A$450,000 and an apology.
A spokesperson for immigration minister Chris Bowes rejected the plea, saying Brown’s extensive criminal record entitled the government to deport her without any compensation or apology. He added that Brown would stay in the detention centre until her deportation.
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