Monday, March 17, 2008

Sex Offender To Be Deported

By Robyn Ironside
March 07, 2008 11:00pm

A SERIAL child sex offender with a 43-year criminal history will be kicked out of the country as soon as he is released from a Brisbane jail this month.

Raymond Kenneth Horne, 61, has been declared an unlawful citizen in Australia after spending more than 14 years behind bars for sexual offences against boys as young as 13.

The former Brisbane City Mission volunteer will be accompanied by immigration officers when he is released from Wolston Correctional Centre on March 19.

They will escort him to Brisbane International Airport and remain with him until he boards that day's flight to London.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said Horne's visa had been cancelled based on his criminal history.

"People who receive custodial sentences from Australian courts are required to serve those sentences before they can be removed from Australia under section 501," a department spokesman said.

But the Department was unable to explain why Horne was not deported decades earlier following his first prison sentence in 1968 for child sex offences.

Even then, at the age of 21, Horne had a considerable criminal history in Queensland, with convictions for assault, drug and sexual offences dating to 1965.

After serving two months in jail in 1968, he was behind bars again in 1992 for the indecent treatment and dealing of boys aged under 14. He was paroled the following year but reoffended within a month.

Horne was returned to custody in May 1993 only to be paroled again in November 1994.

While volunteering for the Brisbane City Mission in early 1995, he lured two homeless boys, aged 13 and 15, back to his New Farm flat on separate occasions.

Both were subjected to sex acts including sodomy and were indecently photographed.

In March 1996 he pleaded guilty to 14 child sex offences and was jailed for 12 years with no recommendation for parole.

At the time, Judge Tony Healy described Horne as "a persistent sex offender who preyed upon young, vulnerable boys".

Police and Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence said Queensland would be a safer place without Horne.

"His heinous crimes speak for themselves. If he wasn't being thrown out of the country we would have applied to the Court to have him kept in jail under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act," she said.

"I'm told UK authorities know he's coming. My advice to them is to keep him under close supervision."

The Department of Immigration would not say why Horne was being deported to the UK or give any details of his background.

Hetty Johnston, of child protection group Bravehearts, said although she was glad Queensland children would be safe from Horne, the chances of him reoffending against children in the UK were high.

"These types of offenders are just not going to get better. The only thing to do is to keep them locked up," she said.

Ms Johnston said it would be preferable for the Government to apply to keep Horne in jail indefinitely and then have him extradited to the UK to serve out his sentence.

"If they send him back a free man, he'll be hurting kids overseas," she said.

Ms Spence said Horne's deportation from Australia would save Queensland taxpayers a significant amount of money.

"If a court had decided to release him on supervision it would have cost us more than $50,000 a year to supervise him and it would have cost us nearly $57,000 a year to keep him in jail," she said.

His removal also overcomes the problem of finding suitable accommodation for the serial child-sex offender.

Last year repeat sex offender Robert John Fardon was released from prison and housed by Corrective Services in an Ipswich street where at least 23 children lived. Strong opposition from residents led to his removal back to the grounds of Wacol Correctional Centre where he remains as investigations continue into alternative accommodation.

Prison doctor Wendell Rosevear said deporting Horne more than 40 years after he came to Australia was "no solution" was almost certain to increase his chances of reoffending.

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