UK Lotto rapist 'wants to live in NZ'

Britain's so-called Lotto rapist - a convicted sex offender who won £7 million ($20 million) on the lottery - is reported to be fleeing to New Zealand.

Iorworth Hoare, 53, has been reviled in Britain and unable to escape media attention since he won the lottery in 2004 with a ticket bought during a day release from prison.

The windfall sparked public outrage and debate over whether he should be allowed to keep the money.

He was released from prison last year and bought a large home in an exclusive estate in Newcastle.

A British tabloid yesterday reported that Hoare wanted to flee to New Zealand and the move had been agreed by the Home Office and authorities in this country.

The New Zealand Immigration Service was making inquiries in London, but said Hoare's situation did not come under standard processes.

"However, a person with this sort of criminal record would not meet immigration criteria allowing them to live in New Zealand," said Department of Labour Deputy Secretary Mary Anne Thompson.

The News of the World reported that Hoare "wants to flee to New Zealand, where no one knows of his evil past".

It quoted a Home Office source as saying the serial sex offender felt he could not stay in Britain because he would always be in the spotlight.

The newspaper said Hoare had also been looking at villas in Thailand.

Six years ago British media reported there were plans to relocate the killers of toddler James Bulger to New Zealand.

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, aged 10 when they abducted 2-year-old James and bludgeoned him to death in 1993, were released in early 2001 and given new identities.

It was suggested they would relocate to another country, possibly Australia, New Zealand or Canada.

However, the New Zealand Government said at the time there had been no approach by Britain and such a plan would not be approved.

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