A convicted armed robber who has been deported from Christmas Island to Invercargill feels like a foreigner in his home town.
Andre Bishop, 28, who arrived back in Invercargill on November 4, hadn’t been to the city since 1997, when he moved to Brisbane as a nine-year-old.
“A few buildings looked familiar [in Invercargill] when I came back, but that was about it,” Bishop said.
“I feel like I’m in a foreign country. I was born here but it’s the same feeling as if I’ve been dropped off in China or England or somewhere.”
He amassed a criminal history “about seven or eight pages long” and including convictions for armed robbery, extortion and assaulting police before being deported.
Does anyone except Labour think it is unreasonable of Australia to deport someone with eight pages of criminal offending?
He committed his first robbery at the age of 14.
Bishop considers himself an Australian and has already lodged an appeal against his deportation.
Good luck with that. Those with one or two convictions may (and have) win appeals, but 14 years of criminal offending is unlikely to.
He felt let down by Australia’s new immigration laws, but he “wasn’t going to sit around in a detention centre for two years waiting for an answer” and elected to return to Invercargill where he had family, turning down the chance to go to Whanganui and live with his uncle because he feared he would end up joining a gang.
I’d say Australians feel let down by him. Good to see he is trying to avoid a gang though.
“I was living a lifestyle on the Gold Coast where I was robbing pubs and paying $250 a night for high-rise apartments for weeks on end.
Oh dear, and with an attitude like that where he sees that as a good lifestyle, no wonder he struggles to get a job.
Prime Minister John Key’s office declined to comment, stating it was a matter for Corrections and that the prime minister could not comment on specific cases.
Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis said it was “absolutely ridiculous” the Prime Minister’s office did not want to comment on a problem they helped create.
Really Kelvin, how did the PM or his office create this problem? Did they force Mr Bishop into bank robberies in Australia? Do you think in the same situation, NZ should not deport someone who has 14 years of criminal offending?
If Labour MPs are going to get so offended over being labeled as defending killers and rapists (which has been apologised for), then maybe Labour MPs should not try and paint the Prime Minister as responsible for a recidivist bank robber.
“If they don’t get the social support, they’re left to sometimes resort to crime. It’s just shocking the prime minister’s Government has created this problem by not offering the social support and negotiating with the Australian Government.”
Here Davis blames society, instead of the criminal. In case he missed it, Bishop had all the social support in Australia – a family, school, job opportunities. Yet he did 14 years of criminal offending. Yet in Davis’ world this is not his fault, but the lack of social support.
And he should stop lying about the Government not negotiating. The Government has – and in fact those negotiations are what allowed people like Bishop to file appeals from NZ rather than stay on Christmas Island – the exact thing Labour demanded an end to.
Corrections northern region operations director Lynette Cave said it assisted Christmas Island deportees just like other offenders.
“Corrections provides support to returning offenders in the same way it supports any other offender with re-integrative needs,” she said.
“Corrections contracts with Pars (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society) to provide services to returning offenders.”
Now known as People At Risk Solutions, Pars was given $100,000 by Corrections in October to assist offenders with re-integration into society.
Davis is the one who insisted these offenders be released from Christmas Island. If he is looking for blame, he could start with himself.