A multiple killer who has been in jail in Australia for the past 23 years was to be deported to his native Scotland within the next two weeks. "Mad Dog", who was given three life sentences in 1974 for leading a gang which killed three men in five days, was granted parole on April 20. Australian authorities immediately confirmed that they would send him back to Scottland from where he came with his family when he was ten.
The murderous rampage took place five days after his six-week-old son died when his wife fell asleep while breast-feeding and rolled on top of him. McCafferty claimed at his trial in 1974 that he had heard the voice of his dead son telling him he would be born again if seven people were killed. He remained obsessed with the number seven in prison, writing an autobiography titled "Seven Shall Die." Eight years after his trial he killed a fellow-prisoner, leaving three killings pending.
However, a parole board judge said that by 1988 "Mad Dog" became a model prisoner. His freedom was granted after his fifth request for parole. Philip Morrice, the British Consul-General, said Britain had no choice but to accept the decision to deport McCafferty, although the prisoner has appealed against the move.
At the hearing McCafferty apologised to relatives of his victims and said he was "out of touch with reality" at the time of the killings. "I realise the chaos and trauma I have created," he said. "I killed three fathers and for that I am truly sorry. If I could give my life to bring your fathers back I would do that gladly." Outside the courtroom, Lesley Cox, the daughter of one of his victims, wept and said she was "frightened and terrified" by the parole decision.
On April 23, 1997 "Mad Dog" lost his last appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal against a deportation order by the Australian government. On May 1 McCafferty was escorted onto a plane by two police officers and sent on his way to Scotland, a place he has no desire to live in. Scottish authorities stated that they will have to house him if he returns to Glasgow, but there are fears of a lynch-mob if the public discovers his where-abouts. The victims families believe that he is not a changed-man, and that there is every possibility that he will kill again. 4 down, three to go...