Sex offender to be deported from Victoria's North East

Adam James Letchford.
Adam James Letchford.

A sex offender from the North East of Victoria who has spent all but three years of his life in Australia is set to be deported.

Adam James Letchford, 32, had his visa cancelled in November 2017, with the government finding he failed to pass the character test.

Letchford recently appealed the decision to cancel his visa, and said he wanted to move to Albury if he was allowed to stay in the country and work as a removalist.

The government argued his offending had been “so serious, and the risk to the Australian community is so great, that this risk outweighs all other relevant considerations in this case”.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal recently heard the New Zealand citizen had continued to offend after his visa was previously cancelled. 

The cancellation did not go ahead, but Letchford went on to commit more than 30 further offences. 

The 32-year-old had moved from New Zealand to Australia at the age of three and was later granted a temporary visa.

He has been involved in a large number of offences.

His most serious offending occurred when he was 18 after he met a girl at a nightclub and started a relationship.

The girl was aged 14 and Letchford had sex with her multiple times in late 2004 and early 2005.

He also had sex with the girl’s friend, who was 13 at the time. 

Letchford received a suspended sentence and failed to comply with his reporting obligations as a sex offender.

The 32-year-old has been heavily addicted to ice for the past 12 years and has priors for trafficking speed.

Magistrate Ian Watkins noted in the Benalla Magistrates Court in 2017 that Letchford had been showing contempt for court by continually driving while disqualified.

Other offences include assault with a weapon, making threats to kill, drug driving and firearm possession.

A senior tribunal member noted he was "responsible for his own actions and for the consequences thereof.”

“Mr Letchford admitted openly that he knew the consequences if he continued to offend,” the member said.

“Yet he persisted in putting himself in harm’s way, both in terms of drug offences, but also drug driving offences that could have had devastating consequences for him and potentially for other road users.” 

It was unclear when Letchford, who is a father of four, will be deported.