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Last Tuesday Mark Middleton was snatched from his workplace and arrested by New Zealand Immigration officers. Mark arrived in New Zealand as a 4-year-old in 1962; some 56 years ago, and now New Zealand Immigration has stated that Mark is an overstayer!

In 1989 Mark Middleton’s stepdaughter Karla Cardno was snatched from her push bike, held captive and tortured over 22 hours, then buried alive by Paul Joseph Dally.

Mark made threats about what he would do to Dally if Karla's killer was ever granted parole, including graphic statements to the Wanganui Chronicle. All Mark really wanted was to make sure Dally was not released so he couldn’t go on to hurt another family.

Mark was found guilty and that was the day the Sensible Sentencing Trust was born. Sensible Sentencing Trust has done everything in its power to help Mark from that day; organizing a nationwide rally in support of Mark, and to raise some serious questions around the flaws in New Zealand’s JUSTICE system, and once again Sensible Sentencing Trust will stand by Mark’s side and fight the fight he faces. 

One has to wonder if the reason for the sudden action taken by New Zealand Immigration is because Paul Dally will be up for another parole hearing in November 2019 and maybe they think he is getting close to being released on parole. Sensible Sentencing Trust believes the Parole Board may have notified officials of this and now they want to deport Mark for Dally’s safety.

 “Mark is the sole caregiver for his family, they have to go through the gruelling parole hearing process every year, and without Mark’s support what is Karla’s mother supposed to do? If Paul Dally is released on parole next year, Karla’s mother will have to deal with that alone and it will simply destroy the family. The thought of the added heartbreak this will cause is horrific and undeniably cruel.

New Zealand Immigration has been asked by Mark and his Lawyer to provide Mark’s immigration status on the day he arrived in New Zealand in 1962, but they have refused to release it. How can they do this? This information belongs to Mark himself. He is entitled to it. 

Sensible Sentencing Trust believes that shows immigration is covering something up. “Why will they not release the information? If they say he is an overstayer, then they must have some proof or some reason to suddenly act this way and arrest Mark, yet they refuse to provide proof to the person it directly impacts and that is Mark Middleton.” Mark Middleton’s deportation is a Human Rights issue.

“We the undersigned respectfully urge the Minister of Immigration to intervene in the Mark Middleton case, and:

1) Rescind the deportation order relating to Mr Middleton forthwith; and

2) Exercise his powers under the Immigration Act and grant Mr Middleton permanent residence in New Zealand by virtue of his residence here since childhood”