A paedophile teacher who is morbidly obese won’t spend a single night behind bars after he was deemed too fat for a prison cell.
Peter John O’Neill, 61, will instead stay at home in Canberra while he awaits sentencing for his crimes against children in Tasmania.
O’Neill requires a wheelchair and full-time carer at his Canberra home. He is estimated to weigh in at over 300kg, meaning the personal services he requires to live are not available in prison.
He has pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault and one count of penetrative sexual abuse of a young person and is set to be sentenced for his horrific crimes on August 25.
He has been deemed unfit to travel by the court.
O’Neill taught at Dominic College, Burnie High School and St Virgil’s in Tasmania throughout the 1980’s where he abused at least six children in his care.
Chief Justice Alan Blow said he was limited to handing down a suspended jail sentence, saying there was no point in placing O’Neill under home detention as he couldn’t leave his home due to his current condition anyway.
O’Neill’s defence lawyer claims a medical charter aircraft to transport his overweight client to Tasmania would cost between $25,000 and $40,000.
The Tasmanian government have refused to pay any transfer costs for O’Neill.
One of his former students, Rachel Grguervic, who left Dominic College in 1989 told The Mercury, “If he doesn’t go to jail and just dies quietly, he doesn’t deserve that. I don’t get why these bastards get bloody protected all the time”.
She said O’Neill was not just a paedophile but also a physical and emotional abuser of children.
“I was told that I was fat and dumb, that I’d never amount fo anything, no one would ever love me,” she told The Mercury.