CCTV footage of the attack which left the victim, Lorna Hosford, knocked out for several minutes.
CCTV footage of the attack which left the victim, Lorna Hosford, knocked out for several minutes.

One-punch crim fights deportation

A BUNDABERG resident has started a petition in the hopes of gathering support to avoid deportation.

Steve Smith, a New Zealand national, has lived in Bundaberg for over a decade and faces deportation after being convicted of a "disgraceful" one-punch attack on a woman in 2018.

Smith pleaded guilty, receiving a 15-month suspended sentence and a fine of more than $3000.

His visa was cancelled as a result, taking away his right to live in Australia with his family.

If an appeal is not successful, he will be deported to New Zealand.

The NZ Herald reported the victim, Lorna Hosford, was still haunted by the attack.

"That could have been my last day on Earth," Ms Hosford said.

The Herald reported Smith claimed the attack was provoked, but Hosford said she did "nothing to provoke him".

"For him to twist the narrative in the way that he has, it hurts me," she told the Herald.

The petition, with more than 750 signatures at time of writing, said Smith lashed out in anger in a provoked, heated moment.

"This is way outside Steve's normally law abiding, placid, nurturing fatherly personality and his history shows this," the petition reads.

"Steve has been a model citizen, both in NZ and Australia for 52 years with a clean record, work history including military service and no prior convictions.

"He pleaded guilty and has taken his punishment, unfortunately one of which was the automatic Australian visa cancellation.

"This visa cancellation, if not appealed successfully may result in the family splitting up and Dad being deported back to NZ - with a loss of income, loss of home, but most detrimental of all, loss of family."

The petition said the punishment was excessive when compared to the crime.

"Even the magistrate agreed that Steve was not a threat and did not need removing from society, hence his suspended sentence," it reads.

Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry described the incident as a "disgraceful act".

"Even a small act of violence can have devastating effects," Sen-Sgt McGarry said.

"We had 28 deaths between 2013 and 16 in this country from one-punch-type incidents, we don't want to see any more of that.

" … The message to the public is this: is it worth it? That one small act of violence can ruin not only their life, the offender's life, but the victim's life, their friends, their family, it can end up in convictions and terms of imprisonment."