Australia ships convicts back to Britain

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In a reversal of the process that was the impetus to its colonization more than 200 years ago, Australia is sending criminals back to Britain.

21 March 2008

Sydney (dpa) - In a reversal of the process that was the impetus to its colonization more than 200 years ago, Australia is sending criminals back to Britain.

Australian officials refused comment Friday on the howls of protest in British newspapers over the deportation earlier this week of English-born serial child abuser Raymond Horne.

Horne, 61, spent 14 years behind bars for criminal offences before being flown back to his homeland.

Horne, who was 5 when he emigrated with his parents, was always at risk of deportation because he hadn't taken out Australian citizenship.

His latest sentence was for luring homeless boys to his flat in Brisbane under the guise of working for a charity.

Horne was met at London's Heathrow Airport by police and a media pack.

The Department of Immigration, which refused comment, has a policy of deporting non-citizens who prove to be of bad character regardless of how long they have lived in the country.

Two years ago Robert Excell, 66, was sent back to Britain after being released from a Perth jail for child sex offences. He had spent 37 of the previous 39 years in prison for convictions dating back to 1965 when he sodomised a 7-year-old boy.

Paroled three times, he reoffended each time. Like Horne, Excell had never taken out Australian citizenship and so could be sent back to his homeland.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

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