Peter John O’Neill, 61, (pictured) was given a suspended five-year sentence after being found guilty of crimes against young boys
The family of a teenager who committed suicide after being sexually assaulted by his teacher has decided not to jail the pedophile because he is too fat to go to prison.
Peter John O’Neill, 61, was given just a five-year suspended sentence at the Hobart Supreme Court earlier this month after pleading guilty to assaulting young boys between the ages of 10 and 15 in schools in Tasmania in the 1980s.
A court heard it would be too expensive to hand over the 140kg former Canberra remedial teacher to Hobart to serve his sentence.
His medical problems include chronic back pain, spinal stenosis, incontinence and sleep apnea.
The brother of one of O’Neill’s victims at Dominic College in Hobart – who died by suicide before the conviction – said it was “ terrible ” that the 61-year-old didn’t go to jail.
O’Neill pictured to the left outside his Canberra home. Extradition to Tasmania would be too expensive, a court heard
“ Once the conviction was announced by the court, everyone just went into disbelief, ” said the brother whose identity has not been revealed for legal reasons A current affair.
“To have such a sentence – a total suspended sentence of five years – is simply awful.”
The family member said O’Neill’s health could improve in the years to come and he could then live freely without facing the consequences of his actions.
“What to say that in a year, two or five years we find that he has miraculously recovered from all his ailments and that he is walking around happily and enjoying a full life,” he said.
One of O’Neill’s former students at Dominic College, Rachel Grgurevic, said it was correct that the former teacher should return to Tasmania to serve his sentence.
‘He has to pay for what he has done. You can’t give a price to someone’s life, so how can you give a price to justice, ”she said.
She previously told Daily Mail Australia that the current punishment is an ‘injustice’.
O’Neill introduced himself at his home in Canberra. The brother of one of his victims said the decision not to jail the pedophile was “terrible.”
“I think the Public Prosecution should appeal against the leniency of the sentence,” she said.
‘This man has destroyed so many lives [and his actions have] also claimed many lives. ‘
Previous reports have claimed it could cost between $ 25,000 and $ 40,000 to bring O’Neill to Tasmania via Medivac.
His enraged victims have already offered to raise $ 40,000 to transport O’Neill, who needs a full-time caregiver, to Hobart.
Former students at Dominic College in Tasmania (pictured) have posted to a Facebook group, with one saying, ‘Nothing will return what he took, but he has to pay somehow’
The community wants people like O’Neill in prison. The cost of his crimes has been enormous. Our suffering, the damage to our mental health, is immeasurable, ”said a former student, who cannot be named for legal reasons. The Mercury.
It would cost (up to) $ 40,000 to transport the obese abuser to Tasmania. We, his victims, are willing to raise those transportation costs so that this man has to face us and then serve his just sentence. ‘
Other students are also asking the director of the Public Prosecution to appeal against the mild sentence.
O’Neill’s victims volunteered to raise the $ 40,000 needed to transport him from Canberra to Hobart
So he got away by abusing children and ruining their lives. Piece of s ***. Can they appeal? ‘one woman wrote.
The court heard O’Neill befriending one of the boys, who was 10, while working as his personal art teacher.
During an overnight trip in a wild storm, the boy told O’Neill that he was scared.
O’Neill gave the boy a back massage in bed and then sexually assaulted him.
In another incident, O’Neill claimed he was sick in bed when he persuaded a 15-year-old boy to hug him. He subsequently abused him.
O’Neill (pictured) befriended one of the boys, who was only 10 years old, while working as his personal art teacher
That victim didn’t come forward until he was forty because he felt he was to blame.
Justice Blow said O’Neill deserved to be jailed, but his only option was to issue a full suspended sentence because there was “ no prospect ” that he would be taken to Tasmania.
“Although I cannot impose the punishment he deserves, his life is probably much more miserable now than that of most inmates,” Justice Blow told the Hobart Supreme Court Wednesday.
O’Neill is unable to travel on normal flights or any long distance by car, while specialized medical transportation by air would cost up to $ 40,000.
Justice Blow said O’Neill couldn’t be locked up on the highway and didn’t have the money to pay a fine.
He said a house arrest warrant was useless because O’Neill cannot leave his home without help.
Justice Blow said O’Neill had irreversibly affected his victims’ education and many had had problems with anxiety, homelessness, unemployment, depression, and drugs.
Justice Blow sentenced O’Neill to five years in prison, fully suspended.
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