Australia to deport 'Silence of the Lambs' rapist

18th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Australia was Saturday preparing to deport a British man who served 12 years in prison for the torture and rape of a woman in a case likened to the film "The Silence of the Lambs".

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Leslie Cunliffe's visa had been revoked following his release on parole in April, and deportation proceedings were under way.

"I've considered the case quite closely. It wasn't pleasant reading, I must say," Bowen said late Friday.

"But I read all the file notes and all the case history and came to conclusion that I did: that he's not somebody who's fit and proper, of good character to stay in Australia."

Cunliffe, dubbed the "Silence of the Lambs" rapist by Australian authorities, posed as a policeman to abduct a 21-year-old woman at gunpoint from the southern city of Geelong in 1999 and locked her in a backyard shed with padded walls.

The woman was tied to a bolted-down chair with her eyes and mouth taped shut and she was raped and tortured over several hours before Cunliffe strapped a fake bomb to her, stripped her from the waist and took photos to demand a Aus$1 million (US$665,000 at the time) ransom.

She managed to escape when Cunliffe went out to buy food and a woman heard her screams for help.

Bowen said Cunliffe was arrested this week and locked up in immigration detention while arrangements were made with the British authorities for his repatriation, which he warned could take some weeks.

The victim's family was pleased and relieved, added Bowen.

"It's been a very stressful period for them and obviously a difficult period as they waited to see what decision I might make," he said.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article