-  # Leslie Cunliffe
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Age: 63 yrs old (2011)
State:(VIC - Geelong, Grovedale)
It is believed Cunliffe is now
living in Pascoe Vale near a primary school-16-4-2011.
Deported back to Britain in December 2012.
Jailed for 20 yrs with a minimum of 16 yrs.
Sentenced reduced in August 2000 to 15 yrs jail/ 12 yrs non parole. To be released 16-4-2011.
To be deported back to the UK-see below article 17-6-2011.
Offence/Other: Pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping,
two of false imprisonment, rape and sexual assault. Justice George Hampel said the
crimes were horrendous and Cunliffe was a "serious sexual offender" and a
"serious violent offender". Kept his victim in the "silence of the lambs style dungeon".
Australia deports 'Silence Of The Lambs' rapist back to UK 13 years after brutal attack
Violent rapist has been deported back to Britain, even though he has lived
in Australia since 1967 and no longer has family or any other connections here.
Leslie Cunliffe, 67, known as the ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ rapist, spent 12 years in
prison for the abduction and rape of a young woman he kept locked in a homemade dungeon.
He arrived at Heathrow on Thursday after the Australian authorities revoked his visa and
put him on a plane.
The resolve of the Australians contrasts starkly with the impotence of our Government in
the case of hate preacher Abu Qatada, whom the Government wants to deport to Jordan but cannot
because of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
Cunliffe arrived as Home Secretary Theresa May came under further pressure to ignore
Strasbourg – but refused five times to say whether she would. Critics say Cunliffe’s
case highlights Britain’s inability to determine who should be allowed to live here.
They believe it shows Australia has a ‘common sense’ immigration system, while
human rights laws have turned Britain into a ‘retirement home’ for criminals and terrorists.
Tory MP for Brigg and Goole, Andrew Percy, said: ‘We have got Australia, a country fashioned
on our laws and liberties, which is able to govern itself and make a common sense decision that
I doubt very many people there disagree with.
‘Whereas here we are left in hock to a foreign court patronising us about human rights and
preventing us from returning a dangerous terrorist.’
Douglas Murray, of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: ‘What all this shows is that
Britain is the only country in the world which wants to preserve the right to retain every undesirable.
‘Most other countries including Australia do not share this suicidal instinct. Most countries want to
get rid of undesirable people and only this country is now the permanent retirement home for criminals and terrorists.
Cunliffe was dubbed the ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ rapist by Australian police after he kidnapped
a 21-year-old woman in May 1999 and held her in a dungeon modelled on one portrayed in the horror film.
After dressing as a policeman to fool his victim, he gagged, blindfolded and bound her,
then strapped a fake bomb to her body and raped her. He demanded a £600,000 ransom from her
family during the seven-hour attack in Geelong, near Melbourne. Cunliffe served 12 years in
prison and was freed last April.
Despite leaving this country in 1967, he still had his British passport, having never
claimed Australian citizenship. This allowed the Australian authorities to cancel his visa
on ‘character’ grounds under a provision in their Immigration Act which allows those convicted
of serious offences to be expelled.
A spokesman for Australia’s department of immigration said Cunliffe was given
a ‘support package’ – thought to be a few hundred pounds – and put on a plane at
3pm on Wednesday. He was met by British police and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register,
forcing him to tell authorities where he is living.
Cunliffe is the latest in a series of British criminals deported back here under Australia’s tough immigration policy.
They include murderer and rapist Simon Wilson, who had lived in Australia since he
was two. He was returned in 2008 at the end of a life sentence for beating an elderly woman to death.
Three months later he tried to rape a frail 71-year-old woman in Camden, North London.
The same year paedophile Raymond Horne came back to Britain after serving a 12-year prison
sentence for 14 sex offences against homeless teenage boys.
In Britain, by contrast, a string of criminals and terrorists have thwarted deportation
efforts using human rights law. They include Qatada and hook-handed preacher Abu Hamza,
who is resisting efforts to send him to the U.S. to face terror charges.
Jack Doyle/ Nick Fagge
Rapist fears torture if deported to UK
A brutal rapist fears he would be tortured if he were deported to the UK.
Lawyers for Leslie Cunliffe, dubbed the Silence of the Lambs rapist, argued it would be cruel to
deport him and expose him to torture.
Cunliffe, 63, made a last-ditch attempt in the Federal Court to remain in Australia and is fighting
the Federal Government's decision to boot him back to Britain, and he wants taxpayers to foot his
Barrister Carmen Currie said the government had reneged on its 2002 promise that it would not deport
Cunliffe, who in 1999 posed as a policeman, kidnapped a university student at gunpoint in Geelong and
then subjected her to seven hours of terror.
He took her to a dungeon, that resembled a scene from the horror film, strapped her to a chair bolted
to the floor, and gagged and raped her.
Cunliffe was released on parole in April after serving the minimum 12 years of his 15-year jail term.
He was originally sentenced to 20 years, but the Court of Appeal cut that by five years in 2000.
In the victim impact statement tendered to the court during Cunliffe's plea hearing the young woman
said: "The rape made me lose all hope of survival. I gave up all hope of living.
I even tried to will myself to die."
Justice Julie Anne Dodds-Streeton reserved her decision and Cunliffe will remain in the Maribyrnong
Immigration Detention Centre.
Herald Sun (14-12-2011)
Sex fiend to be deported
Evil Geelong rapist Leslie Cunliffe will be deported to the UK after he breached strict conditions of his visa while on parole, Federal MP Darren Cheeseman revealed last night.
Cunliffe, 63, was released from prison in April after serving the minimum 12 years of his 15-year jail term for the horrific abduction and rape of a 21-year-old Deakin University student in May 1999.
But the rapist recently breached conditions of his release by failing to report to a Melbourne police station, and as a result was detained by the Department of Immigration under instruction of Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, Mr Cheeseman said.
Cunliffe is being held in a Victorian detention centre, waiting for flights to be arranged so he can be booted out of Australia.
"The immigration department has detained him, because the minister's decided he's breached his visa provisions, and he's now in an immigration detention centre," Mr Cheeseman said.
"The Federal Government is currently making contact with the UK, where he's a citizen, to arrange travel documentation for his deportation."
Cunliffe is understood to have been living in Pascoe Vale near a primary school after his release from Lara's Marngoneet Correctional Centre.
The father-of-two horrified the community when he posed as a policeman before abducting his victim at gun point and later imprisoning, raping and attaching a fake bomb to her, while demanding a $1 million ransom from her family. A detective later described the Belmont shed where Cunliffe imprisoned the woman as being like something out of The Silence of the Lambs.
Cunliffe's visa was being reviewed, with Mr Bowen saying in April he could be stripped of his visa if it was "in the national interest".
Victims of Crime Advocacy League spokesman Steve Medcraft last night hailed the Government's move to deport Cunliffe.
"It would certainly help the family and the victim, and it means we don't have to worry about some lowlife like him doing this again," Mr Medcraft said.
Cats skipper Cameron Ling, who is friends with Cunliffe's victim and her family, has previously slammed Cunliffe's release from prison and called for his deportation.
Ling said Cunliffe needed to be kicked out of Australia to give the victim peace of mind.
"It would be a great step if the Government deported him. He's chosen to live outside how good people in Australia choose to live," Ling said.
"It would also create a safer environment for the victim, who would be able to feel safe in her own country without the threat of crossing paths with him."
Outspoken broadcaster Derryn Hinch described Cunliffe as a "sicko" who should be deported, while Addy online readers posted comments including, "this monster doesn't deserve second chances".
Geelong Advertiser (17-6-2011)
Monster strolls to freedom
THIS IS the moment sadistic sex monster Leslie Cunliffe strolled out of prison a 12 years after kidnapping, raping and torturing a 21-year-old woman in Belmont.
With his thinning grey hair and three-day growth, Cunliffe, 63, made no effort to conceal his identity as he strode confidently to a waiting car at 8.12am on Saturday.
The Adult Parole Board earlier decided he should be free to walk the streets because he behaved well in prison.
The decision has disgusted the community and sparked outrage from friends of the still-traumatised victim.
Cunliffe, a father-of-two, was met only by prisoner support volunteers, who he seemed to ignore as he strode out of the glass front doors of Lara's Marngoneet Correctional Centre.
Moments before he emerged, Cunliffe placed a cap on his head and over his face but then changed his mind, walking out with the black cap in his hands and his eyes concealed behind sunglasses
Dressed in jeans, Adidas running shoes and a green jumper, he walked a metre in front of the prison support volunteer who had earlier picked up and secured his meagre box of prison-life possessions in a waiting black Holden Vectra, driven by another volunteer.
It is believed he was taken to a house in Pascoe Vale, where he will be subject to strict bail conditions and will risk being locked up and serving out his four-year non-parole period behind bars should he break them.
Cats skipper Cameron Ling, who is a friend of Cunliffe's victim and her outraged family, has criticised the Court of Appeal and parole board for allowing Cunliffe back into society after his sentence was cut by five years, allowing him to walk free after serving just 12 years in jail.
"It's an absolute disgrace that a disgusting human being like him can be let back out into the public early," Ling said. "To let this person back out into the public considering the impact this has had not only on her life, but also her family and friends' lives; to put them through that torment again is a disgrace."
During the first three months of his parole period, the convicted rapist will be required to report at least twice a week to his supervisor for monitoring, compliance, program participation and supervision.
He will have until Wednesday to report to the state's community corrections centre.
Cunliffe posed as a policeman when he pulled over the 21-year-old female and then abducted her at gun point in May, 1999.
The woman was thrown in the backseat of the car, with her hands cuffed and her legs bound, and driven to a shed off High St, Belmont. There, in a dungeon-like alcove, she was gagged, blindfolded and strapped to a chair that was bolted to the floor. He attached a fake bomb to her and raped her.
A detective later described the dungeon as being like something out of Silence of the Lambs
Geelong Advertiser (17-4-2011)
`Silence of Lambs' rapist free in days
A GROVEDALE sex monster who kidnapped, raped and tortured a university student in a "Silence of the Lambs-style
dungeon" will be released from prison next week.
Leslie Cunliffe was originally sentenced to 20 years jail for the crime but the Court of Appeal cut that by five
years in 2000 and ordered he serve a minimum of 12 years.
Cunliffe posed as a policeman when he pulled over his 21-year-old female victim and abducted her at gun point in
The woman was thrown in the backseat of the car, with her hands cuffed and her legs bound,
and driven to a shed off High St, Belmont, near where the Coles supermarket is now.
There, in a dungeon-like alcove, she was gagged, blindfolded and strapped to a chair that was bolted to the floor.
The father-of-two attached a fake bomb to his terrified victim and took a photo of her.
He included the photo in a ransom note to her family that demanded $1 million and
included the words "obey the rules or she gets whacked here and now".
He also forced the woman to leave a message on her parents' phone
saying "Dad ... I'm being held for ransom".
During her seven-hour torment, the woman was also raped.
Her ordeal came to an end when Cunliffe left the shed to pick up
food and drink and she managed to free herself and get help after a
shop keeper heard her screams.
Parole Board general manager David Provan told the Geelong Advertiser yesterday
that the board decided to release Cunliffe on Saturday, April 16, after reviewing
files and his participation in rehabilitation programs.
"He will be subjected to a strict supervision regime," Mr Provan said.
He said special conditions were attached to Cunliffe's release and they could include
restrictions on who he associates with or contacts, ongoing assessment and treatment
and where the offender must reside.
"If Mr Cunliffe fails to comply with any condition of his order, he will be
immediately reported to the board," Mr Provan said.
A close friend of the victim's family said crimes like these deserved longer
sentences and dubbed Cunliffe's early release as "outrageous".
"`Leslie Neil Cunliffe is a beast the lowest beast in the category of beastliness," the outraged friend said.
"The haunting memories it left and the public revulsion it sparked showed the inadequacy of the (Court of Appeal) sentence imposed.
"The victim was young and vulnerable and is scarred for life."
Crime Victims Support Association president Noel McNamara blasted the Parole Board decision.
"It's absolutely disgusting. That was a shocking traumatic time for that girl," he said.
"It's not good enough. What he did, he should serve out the full time. It was brutal."
After Cunliffe's sentence in November 1999, a Sexual Offenders Squad senior detective said the
crime was "bizarre and unbelievable".
"This was the most horrendous and atrocious crime that Victoria has seen for years," she said.
"The dungeon was to me something out of (horror film) Silence of the Lambs."
In the Court of Appeal's 2000 judgement, it said the 20-year jail term was outside the range open to the judge.
"While deploring the appalling crimes of the appellant and seeking in no way to excuse them or to diminish
the terrifying experience undergone by the complainant and her immediate family, or indeed to ignore
the general revulsion of the community at large at such crimes, I consider that on this occasion the
sentencing discretion did miscarry," the judgement said.
Cunliffe, formerly of Greenville Drive, Grovedale, pleaded
guilty to charges of kidnapping, blackmail, two of false imprisonment, rape,
indecent assault, making a bomb hoax and using a firearm to kidnap.
Geelong Advertiser (6-4-2011)
Time Off For A Fiend
A KIDNAPPER who tortured and raped a woman he
held captive won a lighter
The Court of Appeal found
Leslie Neil Cunliffe's 20-year sentence was too harsh — even
though the judges noted he had
wrecked the lives of the victim
and her family.
Delivering the court's reasons,
Justice John D. Philllps said
Cunliffe was, a hard-working family man — and because of the
victim's courage and resourcefulness her ordeal did not last long.
Cunliffe, who held his victim in
a Silence of the Lambs-style
dungeon, had five years cut from
the maximum term. He will now
serve only a 12-year minimum.
His 21-year-old victim was
hooded, bound and gagged in a
chair bolted to the floor, and
a fake bomb was strapped to
As she sat waiting to die
Cunliffe demanded a $1 million
ransom and raped her.
The appeal judges' decision
caused outrage yesterday, particularly as it came hard on the
heels of the furore over the life
and crimes of serial rapist and
murderer Peter Dupas.
Dupas was marked as a potential killer more than 25 years ago
but every time he raped he was
given parole and freed to commit
further crime's against women.
The predatory Dupas will be
sentenced next week for the
murder of psychotherapist Nicole Patterson.
Crime Victims Support Association president Noel
McNamara said judges had to be made
accountable to the public.
"People have completely lost
faith in the justice system," Mr
"We have the revelations about
Dupas and the number of chances he got and now Cunliffe gets a
reduced sentence. The victim
doesn't have the right of appeal."
And a police source involved in
the case was furious Cunliffe's
sentence was reduced.
"This sadistic and evil man has
totally relinquished his right to
exist in our community," he said.
"He committed one of the most
atrocious and frightening crimes
that Victoria has seen for years."
In her police statement. Cunliffe's victim said she died inside
as she sat naked from the waist
down waiting to be raped.
"I gave up all hope of living,"
"I even tried to will myself to
die. If he raped me, no doubt he
would kill me, I thought.
"I've never felt so empty and
cold in my life. It was like a part
of me had died there and then."
But Justice Phillips said the
total sentence for eight separate
charges was too much.
"Such a sentence is crushing
and went beyond what was reasonably open to the sentencing
judge given the circumstance of
the offending and the offender,"
Justice Phillips said Cunliffe's
planning was bizarre and he noted
that, in his opinion, the victim and
her family did not suffer fear for
The Supreme Court was the
centre of another controversy in
June when two vigilantes who
bashed a gay man to death walked
free on suspended sentences.
John Whiteside, 28, and Kristian
Dieber, 24, chased and attacked
victim Keith Hibbins after a drunk
woman falsely cried rape in the
There was a storm of protest at
the decision and this month the
Court of Appeal upheld a DPP
appeal and jailed them for six years
with a four-year minimum.
Yesterday's court of Justice Phillips and Justices Stephen Charles
and Peter Buchanan worked almost
exclusively on the civil side of the
law before they were made judges.
Cunliffe, 52, of Grovedale near
Geelong, carefully planned the kidnap and he prepared the dungeon
in a shed, padding it with foam and
covering the walls in black plastic.
He posed as a policeman and
pulled the victim over in her car
before handcuffing her and forcing
her into his own car.
He forced the student to make a
ransom demand to her parents on
tape and took a Polaroid photograph of a realistic-looking explosive device
strapped to her chest.
He sent the snap to the family
with the words; "Obey the rules or
she gets whacked here and now."
The victim escaped after freeing
her bonds and screaming for help.
Mr McNamara said his association's phones were ringing "red hot"
with people who were outraged at
the appeal court's decision.
"It is a disgrace what Cunlitfe did
to that young girl," he said.
"They should have thrown away
"The problem is that it is politically incorrect to criticise the
Tricia Rhodes, who has spent
years helping victims of crime, said
Cunliffe's prior good record was
"If you commit a horrific crime
like this it doesn't matter that you
haven't done it before," said the
former president of the Victims of
Crime Assistance League.
"Thank God he hasn't done it
before and the community is saying he should never get the chance
to do it again.
"This young woman will never
recover from this crime and neither
will her family. Every time they
answer the phone Cunliffe's voice
will haunt them."
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