A British man jailed for murdering an Australian teenager has been deported after serving 15 years of a life sentence.
Christopher Clark Jones, 36, and another man stabbed 17-year-old Morgan Shepherd 133 times before decapitating him and using his severed head as a bowling ball. He was convicted of the horrific murder following a trial that shocked Australia in 2007.
Had Jones remained in Australia, he would have been on parole for life, which would have involved regular surveillance from police. But since he has been deported he will only be placed on an offenders register in the UK, according to Australian media reports.
Jones never applied for Australian citizenship and his visa was cancelled ahead of his parole by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who told Australia’s Channel Nine the killing was ‘one of the most vicious murders Queensland has ever seen’. He added: ‘As a UK citizen, he didn’t deserve to stay in our country.’
Jones was one of seven Brits sent back to the UK on a private jet chartered by the Australian Border Force (ABF).
Dean Church, ABF acting commander for enforcement command, said in a statement: ‘This particularly abhorrent case is one that shocked the Queensland community when it occurred.
‘Non-citizens who commit crimes have no right to remain in Australia, and will be removed from the country as soon as possible.
‘The Australian Government is responsible for protecting the community from the risk of harm arising from foreign nationals who choose to engage in criminal activity, and as such Mr Jones’ visa was cancelled under (section) 501 of the Migration Act.’
Mr Morgan, who was homeless, was attacked by Jones and James Patrick Roughan after a drunken argument at a home in Brisbane in April 2005.
His torso was found buried in a shallow grave days later, while his head was found nearby on a tree stump, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
During the trial one witness described how Jones had spoken to friends about Roughan using Mr Morgan’s head as a bowling ball and a hand puppet.
They said: ‘Chris and this fellow got into a wrestle and Chris said he stomped on him a bit and then grabbed a knife from the kitchen, stabbed him in the back, stabbed him a few times and then gave the knife to James and James stabbed him a few times.
‘James cut the head and Chris pulled it off. James had a little smirk on his face. Chris was making a joke of the situation.’
The judge later described it as one of the worst cases she had ever dealt with.