'A kick in the balls I just didn't need': brave Aussie loses visa bid
"Hammer blow" ... Tim Smits. Photo: ITV screen grab
An Australian man recognised for his bravery after suffering knife wounds while protecting elderly women on a London bus has been refused the right to remain in the UK, a newspaper reports.
Tim Smits, 33, from Melbourne, was stabbed and punched when he stood up to thugs on a bus in September 2011, Britain's Evening Standard newspaper reported.
It's made me question if I want to live in a country that wants to kick me out, even though I love it here.
His actions earned him a local council citizenship award and an honour from the Carnegie Hero Trust Fund.
However, the UK Border Agency has rejected the graphic artist's application for a compassionate extension to his visa.
Mr Smits spent months recovering from the violent attack for which two men were jailed.
"What needs to happen before it's compelling and compassionate?" Mr Smits told the Standard on Thursday of his visa extension application.
"The refusal letter was a massive hammer blow - a kick in the balls I just didn't need.... I had dealt with so much already.
"All the appreciation I have had from the community has really kept up my spirits, but the coldness of the Border Agency and lack of compassion has made me sick.
"It's made me question if I want to live in a country that wants to kick me out, even though I love it here. It doesn't give you much faith in humanity."
Mr Smits, who has appealed the rejection of his visa application, stood up to two 19-year-old men who began abusing fellow bus passengers on a suburban London route. He was knifed by one of the teens and punched by another.