ONE BLAST CHANCE
Exclusive Magistrate went easy so violent refugee could stay ... now police allege he wants to blow up Australia
A VIOLENT refugee has been able to unleash chaos across two states – including allegedly threatening to bomb Australia and mow down police with a truck – after a soft-touch Queensland magistrate gave him a light sentence so he wouldn’t be deported.
Magistrate Joan White talked openly in court about ensuring Iranian refugee Behzad Bashiri did not lose his visa before giving him a suspended sentence for frightening crimes in Queensland. Now police have warned they have “grave fears for the safety of the public” if he’s not locked up.
Bashiri (inset), 35, who is in NSW custody awaiting further charges, had his protection visa cancelled by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton in October after he was lobbied by Victorian detectives.
The crimes and state of mind of Bashiri had become so alarming that his own psychiatrist alerted authorities that he was a threat to police and ordinary Australians.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that, after arriving by boat in 2011, and being granted a protection visa, Bashiri was before Ms White (pictured, far right) in Beenleigh Magistrates Court in October 2012.
Queensland and Victorian police are still reeling from the wholly suspended sentence handed down by Ms White five years ago.
The court was told he walked into Access Employment Services in Logan in September 2012 and warned he would be back the next day to set himself and the building alight.
The next day he turned up with a three-litre plastic milk bottle of fuel and a lighter.
He yelled that he was going to kill himself and started splashing petrol around.
Over two days of hearings, Ms White spoke openly in court with two duty lawyers about making it easier for Bashiri. She spoke about how tough it was for refugees and how they could keep him off the radar of Immigration De- partment officials. In 2012, a year’s jail was a benchmark for refugees’ visas to be revoked and deport them.
Ms White acknowledged he faced serious charges harges and said: “The other alternative is a period d of imprisonment. nt. It’d be wholly ly suspended, but I don’t know how that’s going to affect his visa?”
“My goodness, ss, it would drive anyone yone to distraction, what at happened to him,” she said, before adding refugees had some difficulties that “we can’t even understand, really”.
After a six-month, wholly suspended sentence, Bashiri embarked on a crime spree that included threatening a Queensland female police officer and her daughter. Brimbank detective Scott Sheedy tol told Sunshine Magistrates istrate Court in Victoria a Queensland senior sen constable who wh investigated the th incident in Logan Lo was later targeted tar online by Bashiri. Bas Victorian Vi police also submitted sub evidence Bashiri threatened threa to bomb Australia; warned a Victoria Police officer that he knew where he lived, what car he drove and that he intended murdering the officer’s wife and daughter; and said he would kill Australian embassy staff in Iran.
Sen-Constable Sheedy told Sunshine Magistrates Court during Bashiri’s bail application that police held “grave fears for the safety of the public” if Bashiri were to be released. “The applicant has a proven history of committing serious crime and has displayed the motivation and capabilities to use violence to support his ideology.
The court heard Bashiri was convicted in Sunshine Magistrates Court in June on charges including stalking, assaulting police, resisting arrest, committing an indictable offence while on bail and acting in a disruptive manner while in a police jail.