Australian 'criminal royalty' Bertie Kidd set to be deported to Britain

Russell Hope, News Reporter
Bertie Kidd has spent most of his life in Australia. Pic: ABC

One of Australia's most notorious criminals is set to be released from prison and deported to Britain - almost 70 years after he left.

Robert 'Bertie' Kidd, who is 83 and regarded as Australian 'criminal royalty', is due to be freed in August, but is expected to be released on parole after a hearing on Thursday.

In a criminal career spanning 60 years, the convicted armed robber is suspected of carrying out two murders but never charged and has been shot a couple of times.

He is currently serving time for a series of savage home invasions in Sydney.

"Bertie Kidd has for the whole of his life been a nasty, vicious, violent criminal," former New South Wales assistant police commissioner Clive Small said.

"He's in his early 80s now, I understand that, but I don't think he's held an honest job for one day."

Kidd's criminal career spans six decades. Pic: ABC

Kidd, who has spent most of his life behind bars in maximum security prisons, has been told by the Australian government that he will be removed from the country after his latest prison stint.

The government plans to send Kidd back to Britain, where he was born but left in 1948 when he was 14 as one of the so-called 'Ten Pound Poms' - British people who were encouraged to emigrate to Australasia for £10 after World War Two.

Currently at the end of an 11-year prison term for a string of violent armed robberies and burglaries, Kidd has fought against his deportation - something his family has described as "inhumane".

Writing from prison in 2015, he told a TV programme that he realised Australians would be against him staying once he was released, but that he belonged here.

"I arrived here as a 10 Pound Pom and I have thought since I arrived that at 14 years old I am Australian," he wrote.

He has vowed to continue fighting deportation upon his release from prison.

Kidd's family say plans to deport him are 'inhumane'. Pic: ABC

His criminal career included the so-called 'great plane robbery', in which he hid in a crate containing several millions of dollars in cash in the early 1980s.

In 1997, Kidd got caught in a shootout with a police officer during a botched robbery of a Brisbane chemical company.

Sentenced to 11 years, he served six, and on returning to Sydney planned and executed a series of savage home invasions on the city's northern beaches.

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