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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-07/man-granted-visa-reprieve-sentenced-for-raping-melbourne-woman/8597288

New Zealand man jailed for raping Melbourne woman after failed bid to deport him

By Emma Younger

Updated 7 Jun 2017, 3:24pm

A New Zealand-born man has been jailed for raping a woman in her Melbourne home two years after the Immigration Department tried to have him deported over his violent criminal history.

Carl Stafford broke into the 53-year-old woman’s St Kilda apartment and subjected her to a 45-minute attack in which she was raped, taunted and mocked.

The 42-year-old was sentenced to 10 years’ jail over the August 2015 attack, which took place two years after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) overturned the cancellation of his visa.

An Immigration Department official had tried to have Stafford deported in 2013, by which time he had accumulated a lengthy and violent criminal history that began when he was a teenager.

But the AAT overturned the decision, despite finding he “does pose a risk that the Australian community deserves to be protected from”.

Rapist’s mother used home as brothel

In his 2013 ruling, a senior member of the AAT, John Handley, said Stafford had arrived in Australia as a three-year-old and it was virtually the only country he had ever known.

“He has no friends or family in New Zealand to offer support and all those close to him reside in Australia,” he said.

“In addition to his substance abuse, the applicant suffers from mental illness for which he needs ongoing treatment and support.”

Stafford moved to Australia with his sex worker mother, who used his childhood home as a brothel.

Mr Handley found welfare agencies had failed to intervene, something which could have prevented his life of drug abuse and crime.

“Much of his offending was impulsive and connected with his poor mental health,” Mr Handley said.

“The Australian community should bear some responsibility for the absence of intervention and should not, in my view, dismiss the applicant by returning him to his place of birth.”

‘I’ve been watching you’, Stafford told victim

The Victorian County Court heard Stafford had smoked ice in the hours before he broke into the woman’s home and was intending to steal.

Stafford has had a methamphetamine addiction since he was a teenager.

The woman woke up to hear her attacker at about 2:00am, and yelled out to him.

The court was told Stafford raped the woman in an opportunistic and prolonged attack in which he told her: “I know you live by yourself, I’ve been watching you.”

It took the woman about 45 minutes to escape her home and flag down a taxi driver for help.

Police arrested Stafford as he tried to leave the woman’s home with her mobile phone.

He initially denied breaking in or attacking his victim, but eventually pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one charge of aggravated burglary.

The court was told Stafford’s victim had lost all sense of security.

Poor prospects of rehabilitation

Judge David Brookes said Stafford’s prospects of rehabilitation were dependant on him abstaining from drugs and remaining on medication for schizophrenia.

In allowing him to stay in Australia in 2013, Mr Handley said Stafford would face “considerable difficulty” fighting the cancellation of his visa if he committed further crimes.

During the review, Stafford had told him: “I know this is the last chance, I’m too old to keep offending.”

“If I can stay, I will not let you down,” Stafford told Mr Handley.

Stafford will be eligible for parole in seven years.

The AAT said it did not comment on individual cases.

 

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