Mum Faces Deportation To UK After Living In Australia For 28 Years
Kelly Webb, 30, a mother of five children, is reported to have had her visa revoked after completing an 18-month prison sentence for burglary.
A woman who moved to Australia as a 2-year-old faces being deported to the UK without her five children because of her criminal past.
Kelly Webb, 30, whose children range from 1 to 9 years old, emigrated with her family in 1988 and settled in Geelong, Victoria, but she never became a naturalised citizen.
She was born in Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, but says she has no friends or family in the UK.
The Herald Sun newspaper reported that Webb now faces being sent back to her country of origin after completing an 18-month jail term for burglary. After her release in March, her visa was reportedly revoked and she was sent to the Maribyrnong immigration detention centre in Victoria.
Under Australian law, a visa can be cancelled if a person has been sentenced for a year or more, or if a person is found "not to be of good character".
Webb wrote on Facebook on Monday night: "All I want is one chance to stay in Australia to be with my kids."
Webb told the Herald Sun: "If they send me there [to England], I will die. I will die of a broken heart, because my kids will be here."
Webb has struggled with drug addiction and has served prison time for several other crimes, including manslaughter. At the age of 14, she killed her stepfather along with a childhood friend but claimed the attack was in response to years of domestic abuse and she was released early for good behaviour.
Her former partner died in a motorcycle accident in October 2015 and in the event of her deportation Webb's children will be looked after by their grandparents.
Webb's mum, Cheryl, 51, told the Herald Sun: "I can't believe this has happened. She has done her time. My fear is they will end up deporting her. She has really pulled it together. She just wants to sort her life out."
A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told BuzzFeed News: "The Department is aware of this case. Due to privacy legislation, we cannot comment on specific details."
The department said that the Migration Act 1958 allows the government to "refuse or cancel a visa where a person is found not to be of good character".
In December 2014 this law was strengthened so that ministers could cancel the visas of non-nationals if they are sentenced to a jail term of more than 12 months or are found guilty of a sexual offence offence involving a child.
Guidelines issued alongside the act state that the welfare of dependent children must be taken into account when deciding whether to revoke someone's visa. The length of time someone has spent in the country should also be taken into account, including "whether the non-citizen arrived as a young child".
Between December 2014 and March 2016, Australia deported 441 people whose visas were cancelled.
The UK Foreign Office told BuzzFeed News in a statement: "Our staff are providing assistance to a British national whose visa has been cancelled in Australia."