3 Oct 2016

Child sex offender avoids deportation

7:16 pm on 3 October 2016

A child sex offender in his early 20s who was facing deportation has won the right to stay in New Zealand because of exceptional circumstances.

Tim Horne was born deaf and moved to New Zealand with his family 10 years ago.

He has spent more than two years in jail after admitting kidnapping and indecently assaulting a six year-old.

Horne, now 22, is due to be released from prison this month under conditions RNZ understands include: electronic monitoring; not consuming drugs and alcohol; and not visiting local parks or being unaccompanied around children.

He was given a deportation notice in March last year and appealed to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

According to the tribunal's finding, released in April, Horne was born deaf and adopted at a young age. His parents initially moved to the United Kingdom before arriving in New Zealand when Horne was 12 years old.

They've lived here ever since.

He left school at the age of 16 and got a job as a car groomer but began smoking cannabis with friends. The smoking turned into a habit, which he hid from his parents.

According to the police summary, Horne had smoked a large amount of cannabis on New Year's Day 2014, after none of his friends turned up to his barbecue.

He went to a local park where he came across a six-year-old girl playing with friends. He grabbed the girl and carried her to a nearby creek bed, where he indecently assaulted her.

The girl's mother heard her screams and came to her rescue. Horne ran away. He was turned in to the police by his parents after they saw media reports of the incident.

Horne would get family support in NZ - tribunal

Horne's father told the tribunal he would have to move back to South Africa with his son if he was deported, and that would mean living apart from his wife and his other children. He told the tribunal that allowing his son to go back alone would be tantamount to "throwing him away".

The tribunal also found Horne has little contact with his biological mother. His biological father was killed in the 2002 Bali bombings.

But if he was allowed to stay in New Zealand, he would receive support from his loving family.

During his time in prison, Horne had been having one-on-one counselling and it was hoped he would get further treatment on his release.

His mother would work from home so she could supervise him and, if he wanted to go out, he would be accompanied by a family member.

Horne hoped to work as a carpenter and a personal trainer and was planning on building a home gym. His family have begun sourcing him tools and materials.

A family friend also told the tribunal that, while Horne's offending was inexcusable, he deserved a second chance and he was offering Horne part-time employment in his office.

A clinical psychologist found Horne posed a moderate-to-low risk of re-offending and that he had expressed genuine remorse and empathy to the victim.

Deportation not in the public interest

The tribunal concluded that Horne had no connection to South Africa and that deporting him would cause a permanent and irretrievable breakdown of the family unit.

"Cumulatively considered, the appellant's deportation would go beyond the level regarded as acceptable to preserve the integrity of New Zealand's immigration system."

It found that deporting him would not be in the public interest and has given him a five year suspension of his deportation order.

Provided Horne does not reoffend in the next five years, he can stay in New Zealand.