Aussie teen killer deported to NZ

Amanda Denise Pemberton, now 39, was sentenced to life in prison in 1997.
Amanda Denise Pemberton, now 39, was sentenced to life in prison in 1997. Photo credit: ABC News

Australia has deported a New Zealand-born teenage killer after more than two decades in prison.

Amanda Denise Pemberton, now 39, was sentenced to life in prison when she participated in the 1996 torture and murder of South Australia teenager Tracey Muzyk.

Pemberton was one of five people convicted for the brutal incident in which 18-year-old Muzyk was stabbed, burned, maced, scalded with boiling water, killed and dumped in a paddock - all over a $70 drug debt.

After 22 years in an Australian prison, Pemberton has been granted parole and deported to New Zealand, the Sunday Star-Times reports.

Pemberton was just three years old when her family moved from New Zealand to Australia, and she hasn't visited since she was eight.

Dr Craig Raeside, who first examined Pemberton during her 1997 sentencing, advised against deportation, saying she needed "considerable social supports" having been in prison her whole adult life.

"A decision to deport her would deprive her of such re-socialisation efforts. She would potentially be at increased risk in the community upon her release in New Zealand, although this need not be the case should she be released in Australia."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has criticised the Australian policy, and says New Zealand-born criminals should only be deported here if they have genuine links to the country.

In 2009 a court overturned the Australian government's decision to deport Pemberton if she secured parole in 2010. The judge said it was "more appropriate" for her to stay in Australia because that's where she had spent most of her life.

The law was changed in December 2014, and since then hundreds of people have been deported to New Zealand - including one who had never even set foot in the country. 

Newshub.