AAP, Sept. 18, 2009
A New Zealand-born woman, dubbed a one-woman crime wave after committing dozens of offences across Sydney, has been deported to her homeland.
Patricia Carol Toia, 31, made the trip across the Tasman aboard a chartered jet on September 10 after commercial airlines refused to have her on board.
Toia, a drug addict, has been sentenced to jail terms on 30 occasions for offences including robbery, assault and dealing in heroin.
In jail she committed another 56 offences including assault, intimidation and damaging and destroying property.
She never held a driver’s licence but amassed traffic offences which led to her being banned from taking to Australia’s roads until 2060.
Toia came to Australia at the age of one and had lived here all her life. But she fell foul of the good character provisions of the Migration Act. She had not taken up Australian citizenship.
She lost an appeal to the Federal Court on June 30 but chose not to lodge a final appeal to the High Court.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans declined to intervene in her case.
“As there was no impediment to her removal from Australia, arrangements were made to organise her removal,” a spokeswoman for the Immigration Department said.
“She was removed via a charter flight aircraft because airlines indicated that they were unwilling to carry her on a commercial flight.”
She was accompanied by three security officers and two departmental officials.
The cost of the flight has been put at between $30,000 and $40,000.
The spokeswoman said that was comparable to the cost of deportation aboard a commercial flight because of airline requirements for a deportee to be separated from other passengers by a buffer of empty seats.
She said the Immigration Department could not comment on Toia’s criminal conduct in Australia.
“Suffice it to say she has a long history of petty crime,” she said.
In a hearing before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2007, deputy president Julian Block noted that the description of Toia as a one-woman crime wave was by no means inapt.
“She is a threat to the Australian community and Australia deserves protection against her, given that the risk of recidivism is, as must be obvious, very substantial indeed,” he said.
Toia had argued against deportation on the grounds that she had lived all her life in Australia.