Devastating 94 day separation over for ex-bikie and family
THE Lyons family no longer live in fear the Immigration department will tear them apart.
A Federal Court judge rejected the case to force Derek Lyons, an Australian resident of 48 years, to leave the country.
The Gladstone man was separated from his family for 94 days as they awaited the final decision.
The Federal Court was told the ordeal left his wife of 23 years, Leanne crying herself to sleep at night, and his children and grandchildren worried for the future.
A relieved Mrs Lyons told The Observer it was a "fantastic result".
"We are very happy to have Derek back home with us all where he belongs," she said.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection wanted Mr Lyons deported due to the 51-year-old's suspended 12-month jail sentence in 2007 and former links with the Black Uhlans Motorcycle Club.
Despite Mr Lyons failing his "character test" due to the jail sentence, Justice Berna Collier ruled the minister's case was "legally unreasonable, illogical and irrational" and lacked evidence.
Delivering the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection's decision, prosecution lawyer Amelia Wheatley said on November 21, 2007 Mr Lyons was sentenced to a suspended 12-month jail sentence for being in premises with intent to commit an indictable offence and extortion.
Ms Wheatley said the jail sentence meant Mr Lyons had a "substantial criminal record".
"I note Mr Lyons' representation that he recognised the potential risk of continuing to be a member of the Black Uhlans and ceased his membership with the club in December 2015," Ms Wheatley said.
"The Minister was mindful of the principle that the Australian community would expect that non-citizens who commit serious crimes in Australia can and should have their visa cancelled, and that Mr Lyons has breached the trust of the Australian community that non-citizens would obey Australian laws."
Ms Wheatley said the Minister considered Mr Lyons loves his family "more than life itself" and his wife and children were "extremely distressed" at the prospect of being separated.
Defending the Scottish-born man, defence lawyer Ian Erskine accused the minister of "cherry-picking" evidence "which supported" a move to cancel Mr Lyons' visa.
Mr Erskine said the Minister had an "unfavourable" view of motorcycle clubs and their members.
"It is perhaps trite to observe that, although the purpose of the punishment is the protection of the community, that purpose can be achieved in an appropriate case by a sentence designed to assist in the rehabilitation ... at the expense of deterrence, retribution and denunciation," he said.
He said the minister's ten-year delay to warrant a cancellation of Mr Lyons' visa was "unreasonable".