Serial paedophile back in UK

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The Independent Online

A serial paedophile arrived in the UK today after being deported from Australia following a 12-year jail sentence.

Raymond Horne, 61, was met by police when his flight from Brisbane landed at Heathrow Airport.

He reportedly moved to Queensland from Britain in 1952 at the age of five and began offending in the 1960s.

Horne's latest stint behind bars was for 14 sex offences committed after he lured two homeless boys to his apartment while volunteering for a charity, The Times reported.

The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases, but added: "Where it is known that a sex offender convicted in another country is to be deported to the UK, he is met at the port of entry by the police who interview him and pass any relevant information to the police in the area to which the offender is proposing to live."

Once in Britain, Horne will be obliged to sign the Sex Offenders' Register.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a notification order designed to ensure that those convicted of sex offences overseas are made to sign the register in this country.

Breach of the Sex Offenders' Register is a criminal offence, with a maximum punishment of five years' imprisonment.

Additional measures available to authorities include sexual offences prevention orders (Sopos), which can apply to offenders convicted of sexual or violent offences overseas and who pose a risk of serious sexual harm in the UK.

These orders not only make offenders sign on the register but also impose prohibitions - for example, from being alone with children or from being within a certain distance of a playground.

Shy Keenan, of child abuse victims' campaign group Phoenix Chief Advocates, said Horne would be "more dangerous" in Britain because he has no support network here.

She called for the creation of an international sex offenders' register.

Although Horne may have to sign the UK's Sex Offenders' Register, because he was convicted abroad this does not mean he will be monitored by probation services or forced to meet stringent conditions, the campaigner added.

He will have to do no more than register with police when he moves to a new address and accept occasional visits from the authorities, she said.

She went on: "They can say to him 'We think you're an absolute risk - but we have to wait now until you do something before we can do something, despite the fact that we know you're likely to do something'.

"He will probably be given some contact numbers for charities locally that will help him with housing and food.

"He will probably be placed in a hostel - an ordinary hostel, not an offenders' hostel."

Ms Keenan estimated that for every child sex offender whose return to the UK was reported in the media, there were another 50 who received no publicity.

She said: "It's not Australia's fault and it's not England's fault - it's the law's fault.

"The law needs to change to empower authorities everywhere when it comes to sex offenders."

The Metropolitan Police refused to comment on Horne's return to the UK.