In the Media

British rapist Leslie Cunliffe deported from Australia

PUBLISHED March 23, 2012

Briton who kidnapped and raped woman in 'Silence of the Lambs' attack in 1999 expelled after serving 12-year jail term

A Briton who carried out a horrific sex attack has been deported from Australia to the UK after serving a 12-year prison sentence.

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 attack in May 1999 in Geelong, near Melbourne.

Australian police compared the shed where he imprisoned the woman for seven hours to 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 released 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 to deport him.

It is understood he arrived at Heathrow airport on Thursday.

A spokesman for Australia's department of immigration said: "I can confirm that [Cunliffe] 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 number of ageing British sex offenders have been deported to the UK under Australia's tough immigration policy.

The paedophile Raymond Horne was returned to Britain in March 2008 after serving 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.

The 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 71-year-old woman in Camden, north London. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds