Paedophile to be deported to UK from Australia

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The Independent Online

A British paedophile who has spent 37 years in an Australian jail is to be deported to the UK, officials said today.

A British paedophile who has spent 37 years in an Australian jail is to be deported to the UK, officials said today.

UK-born Robert Excell, 66, who moved to Australia when he was ten, will be flown home as soon as he has the necessary travel documents, said a spokesman for the Western Australia Justice Department.

Excell, who emigrated to Australia as a child but never became a citizen, was serving an indeterminate sentence at the State Governor's pleasure after a string of sex attacks on boys.

But the decision was taken to release him because of his poor health and age, and support from his wife.

He had been expected in the UK as early as tomorrow, but the deportation was delayed as his immigration papers were not ready.

A Western Australia Justice Department spokesman said: "At the present time Excell is being processed for removal and the immigration department is seeking travel documentation for him.

"I expect this will take some days and with Easter coming up it could be into next week. In the meantime he remains in prison."

Excell is reportedly regarded as one of Western Australia's worst child abusers, with four separate convictions for sodomising and molesting young boys, dating back to 1965.

Since then he has been paroled three times and reoffended on all three occasions.

In November 2002 the state Government intervened to force him to remain in jail indefinitely, overruling a Parole Board decision to let him go free, the Australian Associated Press reported.

But Western Australia attorney-general Jim McGinty yesterday indicated he had changed his mind, consenting to Excell's release on the strict condition he be immediately deported.

Yesterday Mr McGinty told ABC radio: "He cannot be released into the West Australian community and will not pose a threat to the West Australian community.

"He's had his visa cancelled. He is not an Australian citizen. He came to Australia many, many years ago and then very seriously abused the privilege of residency here by committing the serious crimes that he did."

UK authorities will be notified of Excell's arrival and he would be listed on a child sex offender register but would have no formal parole conditions, Mr McGinty said.

"The Parole Board say that (he's) a low-to-moderate risk (of reoffending) and one that must be managed on a life-long basis and therefore they were prepared to recommend that he be released into the community here in Western Australia and I wasn't prepared to accept that," he said.

Excell's age, poor physical condition and ongoing support from his wife were factors in the decision to release him.

"I've got no interest in Mr Excell's welfare, I've only got an interest in making sure that he doesn't reoffend," Mr McGinty said.

Jim Magnus, a cousin of Excell's wife Maxine, yesterday said the family was happy he would be released but not pleased he would be deported.

"He wants to get out and he will take the price of going to England but he would much rather be in Australia where he has lived all his adult life ... and most of his childhood," Mr Magnus told ABC radio.

Mr Magnus told Sky News that Excell was unlikely to re-offend.

He said: "He is no more capable than you or myself or anyone."

Norman Brennan, director of the Victims of Crime Trust, called on the Australian authorities to reconsider their decision to release Excell.

He said: "This individual poses a maximum danger to children and has committed crime after crime after crime of the worst degrading types of paedophilia.

"It's clear as night follows day as long as this individual's got blood running through his veins he poses a danger. The most appropriate sentence for him is to remain in Western Australia.

He added: "I would urge the Australian authorities to rethink before releasing him."

Speaking on ABC Radio Mr Magnus, described as a family spokesman, said he was happy that Excell was getting out but unhappy that he was being forced to go to England.

"I don't think that he represents a threat and I do feel that he's been made a lifelong victim ever since he was raped as a child himself," he said.

"He wants to get out and he'll pay the price of going to England but he'd much rather be in Australia where he's spent all his adult life and most of his childhood."

It would be wrong for Australia "to send its trouble" abroad in any case since even if he was a threat he would remain so in the UK, he added.

Mr Magnus said Excell had had "unprecedented psychotherapy" and faced up to all of his crimes.

"He is the nearest you could ever get to somebody who has overcome his problems," he added.

But Mr Magnus claimed Excell was no "mass offender", claiming his offences were "mid level".

It was "absolutely cruel" to send someone after he "finally sees the light of day" to a "country that he barely knows".

Excell's wife had "sold up everything" to go with him, Mr Magnus said.

Radio presenter Liam Bartlett challenged Mr Magnus with a list of Excell's crimes, saying he had repeatedly offended while on parole.

After being released in 1973 he had raped a nine-year-old boy and when he got out again in 1977 he raped a 13-year-old boy.

In 1981 he was once again freed on parole but was later convicted of indecent behaviour with a boy under 14.

But Mr Magnus said he was now "clear of whatever disturbance there was".

Prisoners' advocate Kevin Bourne-McCrae, who said he had known Excell for seven or eight years, insisted he was a reformed character.

"He's looked long and hard within himself. He has acknowledged what he has done wrong. He has acknowledged the harm and he wants to right that by living a life free of any incidents," he said.

"He has faith now that he has never done before. He is genuinely remorseful."

But a woman called Louise told the programme that her son was still traumatised after he and his friend were molested by Excell years ago.

He suffered "massive mood swings" and "fits of depression" and was unable to maintain proper relationships with women, she said

"My son's still suffering because of that guy. He is 30-odd years of age and he is still going through hell because of this guy and every time this guy's name comes up it just stirs our family up again."

Asked about her feelings about his release she said: "I'm just shaking in my boots."

She was against any sort of release at all including deportation.

"What does that do to anybody in England? It puts other people over there in the same boat," she said.

"He shouldn't be released. It's as simple as that. He's just a repeat offender. No matter how old he is, he's still just an animal and I can't see him changing."

A Home Office spokeswoman would not comment directly on the case of Excell but said: "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 Special Branch officers who interview him and pass any relevant information to the police in the area to which the offender is proposing to live.

"Protecting children is of the highest priority to the government - we are doing everything we can to ensure that the public is protected from offenders where a risk can be foreseen."

She explained that under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 anyone convicted of sex offences overseas would have to sign the sex offenders register.

"Sexual offences prevention orders (SOPOs) can also apply to offenders convicted of sexual or violent offences overseas and who pose a risk of serious sexual harm in the UK," added the spokeswoman.

"SOPOs 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.

"Breach of a SOPO is a criminal offence with a maximum punishment of five years' imprisonment."

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