Briton 'loses bid to stay in Australia after 40 years'

17th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A British man who has lived in Australia for more than 40 years will be deported on Monday, a report said, after losing his bid to stay in the country where he grew up because of his criminal history.

Clifford Tucker, 47, came to Australia as a six-year-old but has never taken citizenship and his application to stay has been rejected on character grounds after a series of criminal offences including assault and attempted murder.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said Tucker had been living in Sydney's Villawood immigration detention centre for a year as he fought his case, but was due to leave Australia on Monday.

Lawyer Stephen Kenny, acting on behalf of Tucker's family, said the man's human rights had been breached and his family were concerned he would commit suicide if sent abroad.

"Clifford Tucker is a person who has really been assimilated into Australia. He is, for intents and purposes, an Australian citizen, but technically he is not a citizen of Australia and is subject to deportation," Kenny told the ABC.

"This is really in breach of his human rights. It's a country he grew up in, it's a country which his family all lived in and it's a country he identifies with and has for the last 41 years."

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen confirmed Tucker was denied a visa on character grounds but gave no indication of when he would leave.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal which upheld the minister's rejection of Tucker's visa said the decision was made because of the risk he would reoffend.

"We are in no doubt that there is a risk of violent behaviour from Mr Tucker, and therefore of harm to others, if he remains in Australia," the body concluded in its July decision.

The tribunal noted that Tucker had a long history of offending, including a conviction for attempted murder, and had served time in jail.

Tucker's case came to light in 2009 when he returned to Australia from a holiday in Indonesia and had to apply for a visa.

In a similar case in 2005, Australia deported Robert Jovicic to Serbia on character grounds. Jovicic, who became destitute after arriving in Belgrade, has since returned to Australia and been granted permanent residency.

© 2011 AFP

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