Release of pedophile expected

A B.C. man who served five years in a Thai prison for sexually abusing a child is expected to soon be released back into society now that he has been returned to Canada.

RCMP fear Christopher Neil poses a high risk to reoffend, but the Crown has indicated it wants a publication ban on the hearing that will determine conditions of his freedom.

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Police say the 37yearold has not committed any crimes in Canada. However, they used a section of the Criminal Code aimed at preserving public safety to arrest the man when he arrived Friday at Vancouver's airport.

Neil appeared Monday before a provincial court judge in Richmond. His case was put off for two days.

Neil gained notoriety in 2007 when police widely released video images unscrambling an Internet photograph of him. Neil became the subject of an international manhunt when he was no longer disguised by a digital swirl in pictures of abuse posted online. International media began referring to him as "Swirl Face."

Neil pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

He currently has no fixed address, although he once lived in Maple Ridge.

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