Australia plans to deport pedophile to Britain

The government is moving to deport a convicted pedophile to Britain by revoking his visa instead of incarcerating him indefinitely in Australia, a spokesman said Wednesday.

William John Gallagher, a 61-year-old Scottish national who has lived for years in Australia, was facing spending the remainder of his life behind bars in Australia after a string of child sex convictions, the latest for the aggravated indecent assault of a 13-year-old boy in Sydney in 2003.

But instead Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has canceled his visa and plans to send him back to Britain as soon as possible. Gallagher has the right to appeal the decision to the Federal Court.

"Pending any possible appeal ... the department will make plans for his removal," an Immigration Department spokesman said on condition of anonymity, citing departmental policy.

"He has no lawful right to remain in Australia and must, by law, be removed," the spokesman added.

Gallagher has a history of sex attacks on young boys dating back to 1973. The state government in New South Wales recently passed a new law empowering authorities to lock up repeat sex offenders indefinitely, and Gallagher was expected to be one of the first offenders ordered held indefinitely, reports the AP.

I.L.