Brit expat parents plead with Oz government to deport their son

Published:  31 May at 6 PM
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A British couple living in retirement in Australia are urging the government to deport their wayward son back to the UK after he’d stolen their savings and forced them to sell their home to cover his debts.

Russell Lewis, now 43 years old, stole his parents’ credit card, emptied their bank account and ended up £27,000 in debt after spending his parents’ money on top of the range TVs, portable air conditioners, a 4x4 truck and a good number of other luxury items. Parents Jill and Tony Lewis emigrated to Australia from the UK with their son, then ten years old, with a view to eventually retiring in Sydney’s sunny western suburbs.

In 2013, the couple decided to spend Christmas in the home country whilst their son remained in Australia. On their return they were horrified to find their home had been broken into and ransacked, with expensive items missing. Also missing were their bank cards along with the full details of the bank. The following morning, they went to the bank to find out what had happened and were told every account they held had been emptied and the cards were maxed. The unbearable news came when police told them their own son was responsible.

Worse still, the bank refused to cover their losses, even when Russell was convicted of fraud and breaching firearms laws and sent to prison for three years. They were forced to sell their home to cover the debts, and had to borrow to pay rent and the cost of looking after Russell’s son, their grandchild. As a result, the couple are now begging Home Affairs Minster Peter Dutton, to deport their son back to the UK under Australia’s strict laws related to foreign criminals as, understandably, neither wish to see or hear from him ever again. Since their story hit Australian media, the Commonwealth Bank is urgently reviewing the couples’ case and its decision not to cover their losses.
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