No deportation for baby puncher

  • 20/01/2016
No deportation for baby puncher

A man convicted of punching his baby son in the head won't be deported because it would further harm his children.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal has ruled south Auckland man Romeo Misipati, a father of four, should have his deportation suspended.

He was set to be sent back to Samoa after serving his time for convictions of wounding with intent to injure and ill treatment of a child.

In 2014, Misipati was sentenced to two years' jail after his infant son was found to have an injured skull, a broken femur and two broken ribs during a hospital visit.

But Misipati and his family appealed the deportation, saying it would put emotional and financial strain on them and affect their children's development.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse opposed the appeal, saying there were no special circumstances in the case.

But the tribunal disagreed, saying the presence of a male role model was of "fundamental importance" for the children's development.

"The tribunal finds, however, that the particular circumstances of this appeal give rise to circumstances beyond the inevitable sadness typical of any situation where family members are permanently separated against their wishes," it said.

It said the low to moderate risk of reoffending and lack of public interest was outweighed by the harm the deportation would cause to the family.

Clinical psychologist Greg Woodcock told the tribunal it was in the family's best interest to be kept together and the risk of reoffending was on the lower end of the scale.

The decision means Misipati will not be deported unless he is convicted of a crime that carries jail time again in the next five years.

He has been living in New Zealand since 2009.