Community Safety

Grandmother allegedly bashed by freed immigration detainee ‘let down’

May 2, 2024

Thursday 02 May 2024
Courtney Gould
The Daily Telegraph

A cancer survivor and grandmother who was allegedly bashed at the hands of a freed immigration detainee says she can’t understand why the man had his ankle monitor removed.

Ninette Simons, 73, and her 76-year-old husband Phillip were victims of a home invasion after three men allegedly conned their way into her Perth home by pretending to be police officers.

Police allege Mr Simons was tied up and his wife bashed before $200,000 worth of jewellery was stolen from their home.

“I don’t feel safe here anymore, I don’t. But I’m doing my best to live here – I don’t know,” she told Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, who called during a Channel 9 interview on Wednesday.

Kuwaiti-born Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan was charged for his alleged involvement in the attack.

He was part of a cohort of about 150 detainees released after a landmark High Court ruling in the NZYQ case found indefinite immigration detention was unlawful.

The government is now facing scrutiny over why the 43-year-old, who is accused of breaching his curfew – one of the strict visa conditions placed on the cohort, was not wearing an ankle monitor at the time.

“That’s what we can’t understand, why was his ankle bracelet removed in March?” Ms Simons told Mr Giles from her Girrawheen home, adding that the government had “let her down”.

WA Labor frontbencher Anne Aly visited Ms Simons at her home on Wednesday to discuss the issue with her also.

Mr Doukoshkan faced court in February over alleged curfew breaches. Despite the government originally claiming otherwise earlier this week, the Commonwealth did not oppose bail.

The charges were later dropped due to a blunder that resulted in the Commonwealth reissuing visas for the NZYQ-affected cohort.

He was wearing an ankle bracelet at the hearing in February but was not at the time of the alleged home invasion on April 19 after the Commonwealth’s own protection board advised it was not necessary.

Mr Doukoshkan was again bailed in the days before the alleged attack after being charged with a drug-related offence.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his thoughts were with Ms Simons but passed the buck on the man’s bail to the states.

When pressed, he declined to comment on whether the protection board’s decision on the ankle monitor had failed the community.

“It’s not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases, particularly ones that are before the courts,” he told ABC Radio.

Coalition home affairs spokesman James Paterson described the saga as a “litany of failures from start to finish”.

He questioned why the government had yet to make a preventive detention application to the court – which would allow individuals to be held for up to three years at a time if they were deemed by a court to be an unacceptable risk to the community.

“The Prime Minister is showing remarkable tolerance for incompetence and in any normal government these ministers would have been sacked by now,” he told Sky News.

Senator Paterson said he’d be willing to make amendments to the powers, which were legislated in response to the NZYQ last November, if the problem was the threshold was too high.

“I’m still willing to facilitate the amendments to make it easier. The government just has to come to us and explain that,” he added.

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