McCafferty, 49, who went to Australia as a 10-year-old with his family but never became an Australian citizen, was given three life sentences in 1974 for leading a gang which killed three men in the space of five days. While in jail, he was convicted of the manslaughter of another prisoner.
New South Wales Parole Board yesterday granted McCafferty parole, after four earlier applications had been rejected, and ordered his release by 3 May. "We would expect at the point in time when he is released from detention that the [deportation] order should be carried out," the Australian Immigration minister Philip Ruddock said. The British Consul-General Philip Morrice said Britain had accepted the decision.
However, there was anger in McCafferty's former home city of Glasgow. Michael Martin, who is seeking re-election as Labour MP for the Springburn constituency, said: "I have no quarrel with the parole board's decision, I am by no means a `hang them and flog them MP' - but the decision to deport him is morally wrong, and I have complained to the Foreign Office. My concern is that the Australian authorities, and in particular this immigration minister, will use the UK - and most likely Glasgow, as a dumping ground for people they consider to be unworthy to stay in their country."
The random murders which led to McCafferty's life sentence began after he said he suffered a delusion while visiting the grave of his baby son - who suffocated while being breastfed - telling him to kill seven people.
He remained obsessed with the number seven in prison, writing an autobiography entitled Seven Shall Die and was initially considered an aggressive and extremely dangerous prisoner.
However, a parole board judge, Des Ward, said that by 1988 McCafferty was seen as a model prisoner who was quiet, co-operative, and able to relate to people normally.Reuse content