A teenage killer who served almost 22 years in prison in connection with one of South Australia's most brutal and callous murders has been deported to New Zealand - a country she left at age five.

Amanda Denise Pemberton, who admitted to beating an 18-year-old friend with a steel fence post, was deported to New Zealand when she was released from prison on parole.

Pemberton, now 39, was one of five people convicted of the bashing murder of Tracy Muzyk, in December, 1996.

When details of the murder were revealed in the Supreme Court, the public was shocked at the extent and the cruelty of the extended attack on Muzyk.


In sentencing, Justice Kevin Duggan said he could not fathom how a group of teenagers could commit such a "senseless'' killing.

"The obvious (question) is how a group of young people could be so cruel to another human being,'' Justice Duggan said.

Muzyk was at an Adelaide suburban house on December 9, 1996, when friend Tara Kehoe then 18, demanded money she said she was owed.

This sparked an assault which lasted into the next day.

Lyle Bascombe, then 17, joined in kicking and hitting Tracy repeatedly, while Pemberton, also 17, kneed and hit her, holding her down while she was burnt with cigarettes.

Matthew Austin, then 21, arrived and began spraying mace into Tracy's face and hitting her.

At some point, Tracy was scalded with boiling water.

After hours of torture she was cleaned up and told she was going to die. She was marched to a paddock where 18-year-old Ian McKenzie told Bascombe to collect rope and a star dropper fencing post.

McKenzie stabbed Tracy with the post before dropping a heavy rock on her head.

Pemberton then beat Tracy with the fence post and held her down while the others jumped on her lifeless body.

She was then hidden under a tree and her body found four days later.

In 2010, Pemberton launched an action in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to stop her deportation upon her looming release on parole. Her lawyers won but the Federal Government then appealed to the Federal Court, which upheld that decision.

Parole Board chairwoman Frances Nelson QC yesterday said Pemberton became eligible for parole in late 2010 and the board had subsequently recommended her release.

However, in June 2013, the Parole Board recommendation was considered by Executive Council and overruled.

If Pemberton had been released at the time the board recommended her parole, she would not have been deported immediately.

The Federal Government amended the Immigration Act in 2016 to facilitate such action.

Since that time almost 3000 people have been deported on character grounds.

Nelson said the board had been liaising with parole authorities in New Zealand to ensure Pemberton had some support.

"She arrived in Australia when she was five years old and now has no family and no support there,'' she said.

"It is unfortunate for her, but they have told us they will do what they can over there.''

Nelson said another prisoner serving a life sentence who was about to be released was faced with a similar predicament.

The elderly male prisoner will be deported to the United Kingdom when released, despite the fact he has no relatives or friends to support him.

"He will have no support, nowhere to reside and no income. We are dealing with the British parole authorities to see if they can assist him,'' she said.

In 2016, Kehoe, 37, absconded from a pre-release program at the Adelaide Women's Prison and took her own life several weeks later.

Matthew Austin and Ian McKenzie are still in custody, while Lyle Bascombe was transferred to WA in 2008 to complete his sentence.