UK rapper Skepta‘s upcoming Australian tour has been given the all clear, after a decision to ban him from entering the country was overturned.
Skepta (real name Joseph Junior Adenuga) was denied a visa in April this year, before announcing his 2018 Australian tour in July.
The ban was implemented on character grounds because of Adenuga’s criminal history, with a representative for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton claiming the artist represented “a risk of harm to the Australian community”, as the ABC reports.
Fuzzy, the company promoting Skepta’s upcoming tour, appealed the Government’s decision in May, with Adenuga telling the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that his past behaviour was “spontaneous and impulsive”, and that he has grown “emotionally and spiritually” in the past two years.
He also said he had become an activist “who uses a high-profile platform to raise awareness around issues associated with racism, youth socio-economic disadvantage and homelessness”.
In a decision published on Friday, 7th September, the tribunal overturned the Government’s initial decision, noting there was a low risk that Adenuga would reoffend while on tour in Australia.
The tribunal also said Adenuga had claimed he “intend[ed] to rest as much as possible” while in Australia, “rather than attend nightclubs and similar venues”.
In 2016, Adenuga punched a man in the mouth at a Melbourne nightclub, knocking out three of the man’s teeth. The rapper pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury and was fined $2,500 and ordered to pay his victim $10,000, however no conviction was recorded.
In 2009 he was ordered to do 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to common assault following a fight on a London street. In 2006 he was also fined over his involvement in an altercation in Cyprus.