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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Teacher killer 'may be deported'
Learco Chindamo
Chindamo murdered Philip Lawrence outside his school gates
An Italian-born man who murdered head teacher Philip Lawrence outside his school 11 years ago faces deportation on his release, his lawyers have said.

They said the Home office wanted Learco Chindamo to be returned to Italy when he was freed from prison - which could be within 18 months.

The lawyers added the move was illegal as he was from an EU country and had lived in the UK for 10 years by 1995.

Chindamo was just 15 years old when he stabbed the teacher to death.

The rules covering the deportation of convicted criminals between EU states can be complex - particularly if they have spent a significant part of their life in the country where they have been imprisoned.

In such cases a criminal can be deported only if they are a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the fundamental interests of society".

For all their talk of putting victims first, it seems nothing has changed
Frances Lawrence

The Home Office has refused to confirm the deportation bid.

A spokeswoman told BBC News: "We do not comment on individual cases."

Mr Lawrence was stabbed to death as he defended a pupil outside St George's Roman Catholic comprehensive school in Maida Vale in 1995.

Chindamo was jailed for life with a minimum 12-year term, so he could be released in early 2008 if the Parole Board decides it is safe to do so.

Mr Lawrence's widow, Frances, is angry with the government for not telling her of its decision to pursue deportation.

"It would have just taken one call. This is appalling. I don't think I have ever been more angry," she said.

Foreign prisoner row

"For all their talk of putting victims first, which I have supported and gone along with, it seems nothing has changed."

The deportation move comes after the row over the Home Office's admission that it had failed to consider hundreds of foreign prisoners for deportation.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the case is likely to test Home Secretary John Reid's resolve to remove foreign prisoners.

It is the second time the government has tried to remove Chindamo - their attempt in 2001 being blocked because it had begun too soon after he had been sentenced.


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