A Melbourne man jailed for years for his part in the attack which left prominent doctor Mukesh Haikerwal with serious head injuries will be allowed to stay in Australia after originally having his visa cancelled.
New Zealand-born Sean Gabriel was one of a trio who battered Dr Haikerwal with a baseball bat during a robbery spree in the bayside suburb of Williamstown in 2008.
Gabriel, along with Alfer Azzopardi and Michael Baltatzis, bashed the former president of the Australian Medical Association so badly that his skull audibly cracked during the assault.
Gabriel was originally sentenced to more than nine years in prison, a term reduced to seven years with a minimum of four years on appeal. He was released from jail in October, 2012.
And now, the Australian Administrative Tribunal has ruled that Gabriel, 25, will be allowed to stay in Australia, despite federal immigration minister Scott Morrison cancelling his visa in October.
After three months in immigration detention, a ruling by AAT deputy president James Constance said Gabriel should be allowed to stay in the country, given his strong ties to Australia and the effect his deportation would have on his family.
"I am satisfied that Mr Gabriel would suffer greater impediments in re-establishing himself in New Zealand than he would face if free to remain in Australia," Mr Constance ruled.
"He has not lived in that country as an adult and his recollection of his time living there is negative. He does not have the prospect of the same degree of family support as he has in Australia."
Mr Constance said the cancellation of Gabriel's visa would have a harmful effect on his family, and would be particularly distressing for his mother.
Dr Haikerwal came within half an hour of dying after the attack and lost a piece of his brain. After learning to walk and talk again, he made a full recovery and is working in Melbourne.
Azzopardi was sentenced to 18-and-a-half years with a minimum of 13-and-a-half, while Baltatzis was jailed for at least 10-and-a-half years.