THE brutal killer of Bournemouth mum Heather Barnett is fighting plans to deport him to his native Italy, claiming he has the right to a family life in England.

Home Secretary Theresa May has issued an order for Danilo Restivo to be transferred immediately to an Italian jail to serve his sentence.

But 41-year-old Restivo, whose wife still lives near the murder scene in Charminster, has launched a fight in a special immigration court.

In a case due to be heard in April, the depraved double murderer will claim a transfer to Italy will damage family life, despite him being in jail in Yorkshire, more than 200 miles from his wife’s address.

Restivo will serve a minimum term of 40 years, estimated to cost taxpayers around £2million if he remains in the UK.

His lawyer, immigration specialist Benjamin Hawkin, will argue he has the right to a family and private life under Article Eight of the European Convention on Human Rights.

But that claim has been disputed by MP Dominic Raab who attempted last week to stop foreign prisoners using the family life argument to stay in Britain.

“We’ve got to put a stop to this kind of outrageous flouting of deportation orders,” he said. “It’s crazy that loose family and social ties can trump the victims’ and public interest in removing a convicted murderer.”

The hearing is scheduled to take place in a special immigration court in Bradford in April.

Restivo attacked and mutilated Mrs Barnett in her flat in Capstone Road in November 2002. Her body was found by her two young children when they returned home from school. He left cut strands of someone else’s hair in her hands and is known to have cut hair from women as they travelled on buses in the Bournemouth area.

Restivo was convicted of murder at Winchester Crown Court in 2011 and was later found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Elisa Claps in his home town of Potenza more than 20 years ago.

There were striking similarities in the way the two women were killed.