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Tasmanian victims of paedophile teacher Peter John O'Neill offer to raise money to send him to jail

Outraged victims of a fat paedophile who avoided jail because of his weight have offered to raise money to transport him to prison. 

Peter John O’Neill, 61, was employed at three schools across Tasmania from 1980-91 when he sexually abused several young boys. 

On Wednesday, the 140kg former teacher was slapped with a five year suspended sentence at Hobart’s Supreme Court.

The court heard that although O’Neill ‘deserved’ prison he was so fat it would be too difficult to extradite him from Canberra to Hobart, where he would be jailed.  

His furious victims have now offered to raise the $40,000 to transport O’Neill, who requires a full time carer, to Hobart.  

Peter John O'Neill, 61, was employed at three schools across the state from 1980-91 when he committed the abuse

Peter John O’Neill, 61, was employed at three schools across the state from 1980-91 when he committed the abuse

Former students of Dominic College in Tasmania (pictured) posted to a Facebook group, with one saying, 'Nothing will give back what he took, but he must pay in some way'

Former students of Dominic College in Tasmania (pictured) posted to a Facebook group, with one saying, ‘Nothing will give back what he took, but he must pay in some way’

‘The community wants people like O’Neill in jail. The cost of his crimes has been huge. Our suffering, the harm to our mental health, is immeasurable,’ a former student, who can’t be named for legal reasons, told The Mercury.

‘It would cost (up to) $40,000 to transport the obese abuser to Tasmania. We, his victims, are willing to raise that transport cost so this man has to face us and then serve his just punishment.’ 

Other students took to Facebook calling on their former classmates to insist the state government bring that ‘piece of sh*t’ back to Tasmania. 

They are also requesting the Director of Public Prosecutions appeal against the lenient sentence. 

‘So he’s gotten away with abusing kids and ruining their lives. Piece of s***. Can they appeal?’ a woman wrote.

O'Neill's victims have offered to raise the $40,000 needed to transport him from Canberra to Hobart

O’Neill’s victims have offered to raise the $40,000 needed to transport him from Canberra to Hobart 

Chief Justice Alan Blow heard that one of O’Neill’s victims had attempted suicide while another was admitted  to a psychiatric hospital more than 50 times.

The court heard how O’Neill befriended one of the boys, who was 10, while working as his personal art tutor. 

While on an overnight trip during a wild storm, the boy told O’Neill he was feeling scared.

O’Neill gave the boy a back massage in bed and then sexually abused him.

In another incident, O’Neill claimed he was sick in bed when he coaxed one 15-year-old boy to hug him. He then abused him. 

O'Neill (pictured) befriended one of the boys, who was aged as young as 10, while working as his personal art tutor

O’Neill (pictured) befriended one of the boys, who was aged as young as 10, while working as his personal art tutor

That victim didn’t come forward until his 40s because he felt he was to blame.

Justice Blow said O’Neill deserved to be jailed but his only option was to deliver a wholly suspended sentence as there was ‘no prospect’ of him being brought to Tasmania.

‘Although I cannot impose the penalty he deserves, his life now is probably far more miserable than the lives of most prisoners,’ Justice Blow told the Supreme Court in Hobart on Wednesday.

O’Neill is unable to travel on normal flights or any significant distance by car, while specialist medical transport by air would cost up to $40,000.

Justice Blow said O’Neill could not be locked up interstate and didn’t have the money to pay a fine.

He said a home detention order was useless because O’Neill is unable to leave his house without assistance.

Justice Blow said O’Neill had impacted his victims’ education irreversibly and many had experienced problems with anxiety, homelessness, holding down jobs, depression and drugs. 

Justice Blow sentenced O’Neill to five years’ jail, wholly suspended.

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