Mr Heasman can now legally remain in Australia, using his real name.
25 September 2012
30 year fugitive finally finds Australia visa
A British man who was on the run from Australian authorities has been finally granted an Australia visa and allowed to remain in the country he has been hiding in for over 30 years.
Larry Heasman originally entered the country on a six month Australia visa in 1979 but managed to get into a bar fight in Sydney shortly after. He was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, after which he would undoubtedly have faced deportation.
However, while his appeal was pending, Mr Heasman skipped bail and went on the run, firstly to Cairns and then to the Tableland, where he assumed a new identity and began a successful life.
Living as Larry Haddock, Mr Heasman set up a successful re-grouting business, had a son, paid his taxes and even voted under his assumed name.
However, his plan fell to pieces when a jilted lover wrote to the The Cairns Post and revealed his identity, demanding he be deported.
"I want him deported, justice needs to be done," said the woman.
Mr Heasman was issued with a deportation order earlier this year. However, it was over turned by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen after Hr Heasman's cause was championed by federal MP Warren Entsch.
Mr Heasman has since been granted a two year Australia visa and will be eligible to apply for citizenship in two years.
"It's great to be secure," said Mr Heasman. "Knowing I can have a close bond with my son.
"It's true; it's all about my little boy."
Mr Entsch, who helped Mr Heasman to remain legally in the country said the man, under whatever name, had been an 'outstanding' Australian citizen during the past 30 years and it would be a 'privilege' to bestow citizenship upon him when the time comes himself.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.