Prime Minister Scott Morrison has weighed in on the case of a convicted child sex offender, saying the Federal Government will “punt” him.
On Tuesday, 30-year-old Iraqi-born Mohammad Hassan Al Bayati was sentenced for the sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl in December 2016.
He was working as a security guard at the Homebush DFO shopping centre in western Sydney, when he took the girl away from the centre’s playground while her mother was Christmas shopping.
Security camera vision shows Al Bayati taking the girl into an area without surveillance, where he assaulted her.
The New South Wales District Court sent Al Bayati to jail for four and a half years jail, with a non-parole period of two and a half years.
He came to Australia by boat from Iraq in 2011, and was given a permanent protection visa to stay.
“This bloke has no right being here, he’s abused the generosity of a country that gave him a new start, and it was absolutely appalling,” Mr Morrison told Channel Seven.
“And just because you’re on a permanent protection visa, it’s a warning to anyone.
We’ll cancel it, and we’ll punt you.”
Mr Morrison noted that laws he was responsible for as immigration minister, under then prime minister Tony Abbott, made it mandatory for non-Australian citizens to have their visas cancelled if they were convicted of a crime carrying a punishment of more than a year in jail.
The Prime Minister said some 4,000 convicted criminals had been kicked out of the country under the legislation.
Al Bayati will serve his sentence in Australia, before being deported.
It is unclear whether there will be any hurdles in deporting Al Bayati back to Iraq, and whether Iraq would accept him back.
Previous attempts to kick convicted criminals out of the country have been met with legal challenges through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), and subsequent appeals through higher courts.