> Kiwi avoids Australian exile after $200k burglary that allegedly involved killing of pet dog Gucci

Ad Code

Recent Posts

Kiwi avoids Australian exile after $200k burglary that allegedly involved killing of pet dog Gucci

 A Kiwi teen and his mate broke into a Sydney home and made off with around $200,000 worth of designer goods, jewellery and electronics, putting him at risk of deportation. It is alleged that during the burglary the family’s pet Pomeranian dog, Gucci, was also beaten to death.

Mikaele Maka, who moved to Australia from New Zealand with his family in 2010, was jailed for four years following the ransacking in Sydney’s western suburbs. He was 19 at the time.

In March last year, Maka’s visa was cancelled due to the January 30, 2021, home invasion and he was left facing deportation under section 501 of the Australian Migration Act.

The now-22-year-old then turned to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs to revoke the decision cancelling his visa but when that was refused, he lodged an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia.

Following a hearing last month, the tribunal released its ruling on Friday, overturning the Minister’s decision and allowing Maka to remain in Australia.

According to the decision, he and another man carried out the home invasion at a property in Middleton Grange where a woman lived with her three children. They were not home at the time.

It said Maka had given evidence that he did not know it was a family home and he had believed the owner of the house was a drug dealer.

He and his accomplice ransacked every room in the house and the garage, with every cupboard and drawer being emptied.

Goods valued at about $200,000 were stolen. Items of sentimental value, including jewellery, were taken. None of them were recovered.

All the beds in the house were broken, a leather lounge suite was slashed, holes were made in the walls, a spa was damaged, flyscreens and windows were damaged and a safe in the garage had its door ripped off.

“The damage was, so it seems, a response to the fact that money could not be found,” the decision stated.

While the decision did not mention the dog, several Australian news articles reported the family’s 11-year-old dog, Gucci, was beaten to death during the incident.

One of the victims told 7News at the time that they were shattered by their loss.

“When I think about her [Gucci] my heart just breaks,” the woman told 7News.

“Robbery’s one thing but a life is a life. That dog was like a child, they took her life.”

The following month, Maka was involved in a series of other offences including damaging property and a group fight that involved the use of knives and poles.

The case was heard by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia.

He went on to commit further offending, including while he was incarcerated.

The tribunal’s decision stated it was the prison sentence for the “very serious” home invasion that led to the cancellation of Maka’s visa.

However, it said at sentencing the judge had assessed him as being remorseful for his offending and as having reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.

He has completed several programmes while in prison, including a drug and alcohol treatment programme, and despite being assessed as a medium risk of re-offending, he is determined to stay out of trouble.

In determining Maka’s appeal, the tribunal considered the protection and expectations of the Australian community, his ties to Australia, the best interests of his younger siblings, and the extent of impediments to Maka in re-establishing himself if he was deported to New Zealand, where he does not know anyone and has not lived or visited since he was eight.

The tribunal found that while the protection and expectations of the Australian community weighed in favour of his deportation, his strong ties to the community and the “strength of the bond” he has with his siblings, who will remain across the ditch, were “relatively more important”.

“I am satisfied that there is ‘another reason’ to set aside the cancellation of the visa and substitute in its place a decision revoking the cancellation of the visa, being Mr Maka’s strong ties to the Australian community and the best interests of his three younger brothers and his younger sister.”

Post a Comment



Ad Code