A New Zealand national who attacked and robbed a 77-year-old man in Warrawong has failed to stop his deportation from Australia, having lived here since the age of five.
Tyler Pewhairangi was jailed in October 2020 for three years and four months for aggravated robbery causing wounding, and the following month his visa was mandatorily cancelled.
Pewhairangi punched the victim in the face and took about $120 from him after following him from a Warrawong pub in December 2019.
The now-27-year-old applied to first the Immigration Minister and then the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have the decision revoked, but was unsuccessful.
He subsequently appealed the AAT's decision to the Federal Court.
The AAT had found that Pewhairangi did not pass the character test and there was no other reason to set aside the mandatory cancellation of his visa.
In his appeal, Pewhairangi argued the tribunal had acted on a misunderstanding of the law, and did not consider his health issues, including alcohol use and gambling disorders and mental health concerns, and his need for ongoing treatment.
But when he asked the Immigration Minister to revoke his visa cancellation, Pewhairangi said he had not been diagnosed with a medical or psychological mental health condition.
He also failed to identify alcohol or gambling problems, but did outline his concerns about living in New Zealand.
"Mostly just being around family who abuse drugs, alcohol and who are in gangs. It would not be the best environment for me to live in," he said.
His mother said he would have no family support in New Zealand, but his family in Australia were committed to helping him.
Pewhairangi told the tribunal the "Australian community will be the victim if he was to be deported as they will miss out on his positive contribution via employment as well as sports".
Federal Court Judge Brigitte Markovic said the AAT was aware of Pewhairangi's gambling and alcohol issues but Pewhairangi had only relied upon them to argue he would not reoffend.
She found the tribunal had adequately considered Pewhairangi's case and dismissed his appeal.
The sentencing judge who sent Pewhairangi to jail back in 2020 labelled his attack on his victim - which left the man needing stitches - as "cowardly".
"He was an easy target for a fit person such as the offender - no doubt the victim would have been terrified by what was an unprovoked and unexpected attack on him," Judge Chris O'Brien said.
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