After almost 70 years in Australia and spending the majority of his life in Australian jails career criminal Robert “Bertie” Kidd, 81 is to be sent back to England.
Leaving his native England at age 14 this violent career criminal who has lived for nearly seven decades in Australia will be appealing his forced repatriation to Britain when he is released from prison in August.
Currently serving a 10 year sentence for his involvement in a series of armed robberies and burglaries in exclusive suburbs of Sydney, Kid is “one of the most complete criminals I ever knew” said senior Victorian criminal barrister, Brian Bourke, who has represented Kidd in court.
“Bertie Kidd was one of the most intriguing crims I ever appeared for and he was involved in plenty of stuff, he had policemen who he was very friendly with, he was able to manipulate things,” Bourke told the Victorian Bar online oral history project in a 2005 interview.
In a letter from jail obtained by the ABC, Kidd describes himself as a “10 Pound Pom” and says he will fight the deportation order “boots and all”.
“I am Australian,” he writes.
Kidd describes being enlisted into the Australian army. He was prepared to fight for Australia in wartime, he writes.
“No-one has ever said to me, ‘be careful they may send you back to London’, I would have laughed at that, as I am an Aussie.”
A timeline compiled by the ABC shows Kidd has been in and out of jail for most of his life.
In the 1960s he was jailed for two years for possession of forged $10 bank notes.
In 1970 he was shot in the stomach at his home, and was later jailed for five years after stealing $240 from a factory safe in Melbourne.
Another safe robbery followed, before in 1982 he was caught hiding in a large wooden crate on a plane that was carrying $1 million in notes from Australia’s central bank to regional banks in Queensland.
Weapons belonging to Kidd were used to shoot dead two underworld figures in Sydney in the 1990s.
In 1997, Kidd shot a plain clothes policeman during a botched robbery at a Brisbane chemical company, and was sentenced to 11 years’ jail.
It is likely that Kidd would re-offend once he has been released from prison said former NSW assistant police commissioner Clive Small. Speaking to The Telegraph Small, who supports Kidd’s deportation, said he has no sympathy for criminal adding he believed Kidd had not worked an “hones day in his life”.
“He’s covered a range of very serious criminal offences. He’s mixed with the toughest and hardest of our criminals for a long time,” Small added.
Small led the investigation that saw the capture and sentencing of backpacker killer Ivan Milat.
“He’s covered a range of very serious criminal offences. He’s mixed with the toughest and hardest of our criminals for a long time.”
“The way I see it, as Australians we’ve been paying for him ever since the 1960s – as victims of his crimes, when we’ve held him in jail – and now we’re being asked to pay for his pension?”
“I find it a bit hard to take.”
“But I know if I was an English person living in England, I would be saying: ‘Well hang on, we don’t want him back here’.”
The Foreign Office said it will not object to Kidd’s deportation to the UK. A spokeswoman said: “We do not interfere in the judicial processes of other countries, just as we would not expect them to interfere in ours.”