Convicted pedophile Peter John O’Neill has avoided jail time despite pleading guilty to sexually abusing six boys at three Tasmanian schools in the 1980s.

Peter John O'Neill

The 61-year-old former school teacher pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault and one count of penetrative sexual abuse of a young person relating to incidents, he was due to be last August 25.

O’Neill had access to thousands of children during his tenure at Dominic College, Burnie High School, and St. Virgil’s in Tasmania.

Years later, several of his victims came forward to ensure that their abuser received justice. Sadly, thanks to a judge’s ruling, it seems as though their testimonies and relived trauma have been in vain.

However Chief Justice Alan Blow said in a previous hearing he could only give the sexual predator, who worked at a Dominic College in Tasmania, a suspended jail sentence, The Mercury reports.

He added there was no point in placing O’Neill under home detention because he cannot leave his address due to his size and it would cost up to $40,000 (£22,000) to transport him somewhere else.

Furious former students of O’Neill have expressed their anger in a Facebook group called Old Dominic Scholars.

One man said: “I couldn’t care less how sick this filth is — his final days should be in jail.”

“Nothing will give back what he took, but he must pay in some way,” another ex-pupil commented.

Defense barrister Greg Barns SC told a previous court hearing that a medical charter aircraft to transport O’Neill would cost between $25,000 to $40,000.

Peter John O'Neill

The court also heard O’Neill cannot serve time interstate for Tasmanian crimes, he has no money to pay a fine and due to his poor health, he is unavailable to do community service.

However, A Current Affair captured the vision of Mr. O’Neill leaving his house with the aid of a walking stick and traveling in a car.

When approached by A Current Affair and asked about his mobility, O’Neill declined to comment.

Rachel Grgurevic is a former student of Mr. O’Neill’s and gathered more than 20,000 signatures opposing his sentence on behalf of the victims.

“It’s not acceptable. He needs to come down here and pay for what he’s done,” Ms. Grgurevic said.

The brother of one of Mr. O’Neill’s victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told A Current Affair the sentence was appalling.

“The victims have been made fools of,” he said.

Child protection advocate and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston said the sentence was unacceptable.

“Being an overweight person shouldn’t be an excuse for bad behavior, and certainly shouldn’t be an excuse for crimes against children,” she said.

“It does not pass the pub test – not even close.”

Sources: TapHaps, Mirror, 9Now

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