A morbidly obese teacher who sexually abused six boys during the 1980s will not go to prison because he’s ‘medically unfit’.
Peter John O’Neill, 61, will not spend a single day in jail, despite pleading guilty to six counts of indecent assault and one count of penetrative sexual abuse of a young person.
The reason he wont spend a single day in prison is because O’Neill now lives in Canberra and is in a wheelchair and has been deemed medically unfit to travel to Tasmania, The Mercury reported.
Plans to extradite O’Neill collapsed in the Supreme Court of Tasmania on Friday after the cost of bringing the paedophile to the state due to COVID-19 restrictions would be an estimated $25,000 to $40,000.
Peter John O’Neill, 61, will not be imprisoned despite pleading guilty to six counts of indecent assault and one count of penetrative sexual abuse of a young person (stock image)
O’Neill suffers from several conditions, such as spine degeneration, difficulty breathing due to his size and chronic pain. and has a full-time carer.
He cannot shower, leave his home and recently had a fall and fractured his ribs.
The court was told it was also likely that O’Neill suffered from ‘psychotic depression with auditory hallucinations’.
Chief Justice Alan Blow said he was limited in the kind of sentence he could hand down to O’Neill.
O’Neill cannot serve time interstate for Tasmanian crimes and has no money to pay a fine.
He also cannot undergo a community correction order due to his series of medical conditions.
Chief Justice Blow also said there was no point in placing O’Neill under home detention as he cannot leave his home anyway.
He said he was limited to imposing a suspended jail sentence on O’Neill.
One of the abuser’s victims read a statement in court of how what happened to him as a child made him ‘not a whole person’ (stock image)
Greg Barns, O’Neill’s defence barrister, told the court normally it would be no question that his client would serve a prison sentence.
‘A term of imprisonment must be imposed, but in the circumstances… the sentence would have to be suspended,’ Mr Barns said.
One of the abuser’s victims read a statement in court of how what happened to him as a child made him ‘not a whole person’.
‘As a survivor of abuse, I have to acknowledge that I’ve lost a lot,’ the victim said.
‘I quickly stopped believing in God and I stopped trusting authority.’
The first complaint against O’Neill was made in 2013 but due to his medical conditions his prosecution has been delayed for years.
O’Neill will be sentenced on August 25.