Australia deports Clifford Tucker to UK over crimes

Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney Tucker was being held at an immigration centre in Sydney

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A British man is being deported to the UK from Australia, where he has lived for more than 40 years, because of his criminal record.

Clifford Tucker, 47, has been expelled after the Australian government cancelled his visa over a series of crimes, including attempted murder.

Officials said the father-of-three posed an "unacceptable risk of harm".

His family emigrated when he was six but he never became a citizen. He is due to arrive at Heathrow later.

As a teenager, Tucker was jailed for 12 years for shooting and seriously wounding a police officer.

Issues over his visa first came to light in 2009 when he went on holiday to Bali and the government cancelled it later that year when he was convicted of assault.

Start Quote

If he's a ratbag, he's one of our ratbags”

End Quote Stephen Kenny Tucker's lawyer

The BBC's Phil Mercer, in Sydney, said Tucker's various appeals against deportation had failed.

"His family insist he is a reformed character who has no friends or relatives in the UK and suffers from a severe mental illness," he added.

'Completely shattered'

Tucker, who had been living in Adelaide, was being kept at the Villawood immigration centre in Sydney prior to his deportation.

Speaking to the Australian newspaper before he was deported, he said: "I'm not a career criminal, I haven't committed any crimes since 1999 other than a minor assault.

"The only reason I came to their attention was because I went to Bali and because I voluntarily told them I had a criminal history."

He told the paper he was "completely shattered" to be leaving his children, aged 16, 15 and 12.

His lawyer Stephen Kenny told the paper: "If he's a ratbag, he's one of our ratbags. He's done the crimes and he's paid for the crimes. This is quite an inhumane punishment, far beyond the treatment he deserves."

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said in a statement: "The government takes very seriously its role in protecting the Australian community from unacceptable risk of harm from criminal or other serious conduct by non-citizens.

"The decision to cancel a visa is not taken lightly and balances the protection of the Australian community with a range of factors, including the length of time in Australia, family and links to the Australian community."

In 2008, Australia deported a serial paedophile back to the UK at the end of his 12-year jail term.

Raymond Horne had reportedly moved from the UK to Queensland in 1952 aged five and started offending in the 60s.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    This decision is wrong. Virtually his entire life has been spent in Australia, he has offended there, been punished there and (he argues) been rehabilitated there. Forcing him to be separated by such distance from his children, to live in a country where he knows no-one and has little chance of finding work is a double punishment and is vindictive in the extreme. Badly done, Aussies, badly done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    Oh to live in a country that is in control of its own destiny and can decide for itself which non-indigenous miscreants it is prepared to accept.
    But then, I dont remember actually ever voting for the status we now have in the UK, where the human rights act supports the ne'er do wells far more than it ever supports the law-abiding majority - whose rights are incrementally reduced as a result.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    It is a difficult one, but he did try and kill someone and he should have sorted out citizenship when he was younger or his parents should have. If he is there on a visa Australia has the absolute right to cancel it. The reason that it is difficult is because he has children who are Australian and they will probably never see him again and he has family links there with none in the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    As an Australian living in Europe for 40 years on a (long term) Visa, I can imagine what it would be like to be thrown out like that. The government is wrong to deport some-one who arrived so long ago as a kid simply because he didn't take out Australian citizenship, to which he would have been entitled. As his lawyer said "if he is a nutter, he is our nutter (after so long in residence)".

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    He's hardly a criminal mastermind or a terrorist - the incident of attempted murder they refer to was when he was a teenager. And he may be technically British but having lived in Australia since he was so young, he may just as well be Australian.

    I think forcing him to leave his home and his children is a pretty harsh punhisment considering how long ago his crimes were committed.


Comments 5 of 7


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