THIS newspaper has been an enthusiastic supporter of the calls to kick double killer Joao De Oliveira out of the country as quickly as possible.

Regular readers will remember how we revealed exclusively that De Oliveira was free to travel to Worcester, where he murdered local man John Lloyd, despite a conviction for the killing of a woman in Germany.

The German-born Portuguese national was deported from Germany after serving a portion of his sentence but was then free to travel anywhere in the EU.

Unfortunately for Mr Lloyd, he chose to settle here.

Jailed for 25 years for the brutal murder of the frail painter and decorator, De Oliveira is now in a British prison with his care and upkeep being paid for by our taxes.

In normal circumstances, therefore, we would welcome today's news that the killer can be deported to Portugal without his consent due to a new EU ruling that will come into force in 2011.

However, we believe the views of Mr Lloyd's family should be paramount to any deportation decision. They say they would prefer him to stay locked up in Britain because they do not trust other countries to ensure he would serve his sentence.

Bearing that in mind, it may be better that De Oliveira serves his sentence here before being kicked out of the country when he is due for release.

It is a debate that we feel sure is far from over.