Detainee debacle: Clare O’Neil responds to calls for resignation after Perth attack

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Ninette Simons and Philip Simons were victims of a shocking home invasion at their Girrawheen home.
Ninette Simons and Philip Simons were victims of a shocking home invasion at their Girrawheen home. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Amidst mounting pressure following the shocking attack on an elderly woman allegedly by an immigration detainee, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has broken her silence to vehemently refute calls for her resignation.

Ninette and Phillip Simons have been left frightened, horrified and devastated after they were the victims of a violent home invasion at their Girrawheen home in April.

Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan, an immigration detainee released from detention following a High Court decision late last year, was arrested along with three other men on Sunday evening over the alleged home invasion, which took place on April 16.

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The men allegedly violently assaulted the Perth grandmother and stole $200,000 of jewellery, after gaining entry to the Simons’ home after showing fake police badges.

Speaking on Sunrise, Ms O’Neil said the decision to release the former detainee Mr Doukoshkan on bail was a State decision that the Federal Government has little control over.

“This is a result of the High Court changing the powers of the Commonwealth in regard to this particular cohort of people.

“The safest thing for the community is for that individual and others like him to be in immigration detention.

“When I had the power to maintain that situation, I did. All these people were detained. If I had the simple power to put him back in detention, I would do it in a heartbeat.”

Addressing calls for her resignation, Ms O’Neil expressed her disappointment at the incident being used to play politics.

“It was a bit disappointing yesterday to see the Opposition immediately out playing politics on this matter. We have a really important issue to resolve here.”

The minister publicly expressed her sympathies to the victims of this horrendous crime and said: “Every Australian is entitled to feel safe in their own home. The fact this occurred within someone’s home I think just makes it all the more violent and horrendous.”

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