Kiwi Daniel Maxwell faces deportation from Australia over assault death

His role in the fight led to one-punch victim Cole Miller's death.
His role in the fight led to one-punch victim Cole Miller's death. Photo credit: AAP: Dan Peled

A Kiwi man convicted for his role in the killing of water polo player Cole Miller in Australia will be deported after being taken back into custody.

Daniel Maxwell was detained on Thursday night by Australian Border Force officers, after being granted a surprise release when his charges were downgraded.

He was convicted of common assault and one count of affray for his role in the fight which led to Mr Miller's death, and was handed an 18-month suspended sentence.

Under Australia's Migration Act, foreign-born criminals sentenced to more than 12-months' jail face deportation for their crimes.

Mr Miller was an elite water polo player and on track to follow in the footsteps of his Olympian brother.

The 18-year-old and his friend were walking through the nightclub district of Fortitude Valley on January 3 when they were set upon by Maxwell and three others.

The ambush was random, with Maxwell telling his fellow attackers "do you want to see something funny" before challenging Mr Miller to a fight and throwing the first punches.

Mr Miller was then punched by Maxwell's friend in the back of the head, causing massive brain trauma. He died in hospital the next day.

Maxwell was accused of unlawful striking causing the death of the vibrant young athlete.

In March 2016, the Border Force threatened to take away Maxwell's visa if he was released from custody.

However on Thursday those charges were downgraded to assault and affray.

As Maxwell had already spent 19-months behind bars he was released - leading to outcry from Mr Miller's family.

"We understand the reasoning behind the 18-month sentence but we are disgusted that a convicted criminal who is now an illegal immigrant is allowed to walk free on our streets of Brisbane," Mr Miller's father told Seven News.

The Australian government has confirmed Maxwell had been seized on Thursday following his release, and his visa cancelled.

He will have 30 days to appeal.