Man arrested in protest at Chinese tourist's deportation

By Lynley Bilby

Tauranga motorcyclist Rhys MIddleton was killed in a crash that involved Chinese tourist Jieling Xiao, who was last night deported without serving her sentence. Photos/file
Tauranga motorcyclist Rhys MIddleton was killed in a crash that involved Chinese tourist Jieling Xiao, who was last night deported without serving her sentence. Photos/file

A protest staged at Auckland International Airport last night resulted in the arrest of a man, part of a group opposing the early departure of a woman who killed Bay of Plenty motorcyclist Rhys Middleton.

Rhy's father Mike Middleton was left disappointed a legal loophole meant the woman who was convicted in the Napier District Court for the death of his son was able to leave New Zealand without serving her sentence.

"We wanted to show her it's not acceptable for tourists to come here and kill our people," said Mr Middleton.

Chinese national, Jieling Xiao, 27, caused the death of Rhys Middleton, 23, in a Waitangi Weekend crash on State Highway 5 just north of Napier and was sentenced in June to 17 months in jail.

This week her appeal to reduce the sentence was successful and she was given the lesser sentence of nine months' home detention and 150 hours' community work.

The same day her sentence was reduced Immigration New Zealand [INZ] served Xiao a deportation order.

Mr Middleton said a legal loophole had allowed the woman to be deported as soon as she started serving her home detention sentence.

"It's just wrong. They should have to serve out their full sentence before they are deported.

"It's as if she has been handed a get-out-of-jail-free card."

He said friends from the New Zealand biker community turned up to the Auckland International Airport to register their disgust as the woman left the country under police guard.

It's just wrong. They should have to serve out their full sentence before they are deported.
Mike Middleton

Mr Middleton said five turned up to the small protest which forced police to keep the woman inside the van until they moved.

Mr Middleton said it was a "fantastic" show of support by the biker community.

"It was really, really much appreciated because I couldn't get there."

A man, 46, who was part of the protest group was arrested by police and charged with obstruction. He was taken to the airport police station and subsequently given a warning for disorder and obstruction.

- NZ Herald

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