Australia deports rapist Leslie Cunliffe back to UK

 

A British rapist who carried out a horrific sex attack likened to The Silence of the Lambs has been deported from Australia to the UK.

Leslie Cunliffe posed as a policeman to kidnap a 21-year-old woman, then gagged, blindfolded and bound her, strapped a fake bomb to her body and raped her.

He also demanded a A$1m ransom from her family during the May 1999 attack in Geelong, near Melbourne.

Australian police compared the shed where he imprisoned the woman for seven hours with a "dungeon" from the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.

Cunliffe, 63, who holds a British passport, served 12 years in prison in Australia for the rape before being freed in April last year.

The Australian authorities then cancelled his visa on "character" grounds under a provision in their Immigration Act that allows them to expel people convicted of serious offences.

Cunliffe, who reportedly emigrated from Britain in 1967, last month lost an appeal against the Australian Department of Immigration's decision that he should be deported to the UK.

It is understood that he arrived at Heathrow Airport in London yesterday.

A spokesman for Australia's Department of Immigration said: "I can confirm that he left on a flight to the UK from Melbourne at 3pm local time on Wednesday. He was given an appropriate short-term support package for his arrival.

"He has now left the country and is starting his new life in the UK. It is no longer an Australian matter."

A series of ageing British sex offenders have been deported back to the UK under Australia's tough immigration policy.

Paedophile Raymond Horne was removed to Britain in March 2008 having served a 12-year prison sentence for 14 sex offences.

He lured two homeless boys, aged 13 and 15, to his flat while volunteering for a charity.

Horne had moved to Queensland from Britain in 1952, but never became an Australian citizen and on his release the authorities revoked his visa.

In July 2005 Robert Excell was deported to Britain after spending 37 years in Australian prisons for child sex convictions dating back to 1965, when he raped a seven-year-old boy.

Excell was born in the UK and emigrated to Australia when he was 10, but never took citizenship.

Convicted murderer and serial rapist Simon Wilson, who had lived in Australia since he was two, was sent back to Britain in January 2008 after being released on licence from a life sentence for killing an elderly woman with up to 100 punches.

Three months later he attacked and tried to rape a frail 71-year-old woman in Camden, north London.

PA

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