IT was the murder that shocked Worcester to its very core - a frenzied knife attack by 'the son of the devil' on a frail man in his own flat.

It was 12 years ago this month we reported that the laws in place at the time meant that Portuguese killer Joao De Oliveira could not immediately be deported after being served with a life sentence for the brutal murder of 56-year-old John Lloyd, slain in his Windermere Drive flat in Warndon, Worcester. The victim's family called the killer 'the son of the devil' but the defendant denied being guilty of murder, claiming he lost control when Mr Lloyd confronted him with a knife after a drinking session and had acted in self-defence.

However, De Oliveira, then of Northfield Street, Arboretum, Worcester, was found guilty of murder after a two-week trial at Worcester Crown Court.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years but laws meant the then 34-year-old could not be made to return and Portuguese prisons could not be forced to accept him, leaving British taxpayers to foot the bill.

However, the Worcester News learnt that a new EU ruling meant De Oliveira could be sent back to Portugal, where he grew up, to finish his sentence.

Once De Oliveira had served his time, a deportation order could be made banning him from entering the country for up to 10 years. Mike Foster, then MP for Worcester, was told by the Ministry of Justice that De Oliveira would become eligible to be sent back to Portugal in 2011.

"Paying for Mr De Oliveira to spend a lifetime in a British prison would cost us a fortune," said Mr Foster.

"It now seems we can ship him back once the new agreement comes into force in 2011."

John Lloyd's sister Linda Rimell, then aged 59, of Pershore, said she would rather De Oliveira served his time here than be sent to Portugal fearing that he could be released early. "I just do not trust what the other countries in the EU do," she said.

"Unless they can give me a guarantee, I would rather pay my taxes and know he is here and serving his time for what he did to John."

The Prisoner Transfer Agreement between members of the EU was introduced, meaning prisoners could be transferred, without their consent, to the EU country in which they are normally a resident.

It became the duty of the receiving state to accept back its nationals.

De Oliveira was convicted in March 2008 of murdering Mr Lloyd in his Windermere Drive flat on January 13 2007. The frail painter and decorator had been stabbed 68 times.

During his trial at Worcester Crown Court it was revealed De Oliveira had attacked a woman in Germany and left her to die in a bathtub. He was charged with murder, but convicted of the lesser crime of "grievous bodily harm leading to a death," and sentenced to four years in prison.

After his conviction a German court made a 10-year deportation order against him. Once released after serving two thirds of his sentence, he sought refuge in England.

Mr Foster did not know if Judge Alistair McCreath's direction of 25 years in jail before being considered for release would be upheld by a Portuguese prison.

"There should be no advantage of going back to Portugal, it would not be a softer option," he said.

Under then deportation laws De Oliveira would never be completely banned from Britain though Mr Foster said he was looking to change this.

"If there is a national security concern then free movement is suspended, I have asked for a change in this definition to include broader public policy concern," he said.

In February 2009 we reported how De Oliveira had his sentence reduced on appeal.

Three Court of Appeal judges told him the minimum term was “excessive” and slashed the sentence by five years. Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said: “Having regard to all the considerations, we consider that the correct minimum term in this case is one of 20 years.”

Arguing his sentence appeal, De Oliveira’s lawyers said the crown court judge had been wrong to increase the minimum term to a figure as high as 25 years, far more than the usual starting point of 15 years.