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United Kingdom: Judges throw out convicted paedophile’s complaint

Human rights judges today rejected a complaint against the United Kingdom brought by   convicted paedophile Charles Bernard O’Neill about his trial.

In its decision in the case of O’Neill v. the United Kingdom (application no. 14541/15) the European Court of Human Rights unanimously declared the application inadmissible.

The decision is final.

The case concerned O’Neill’s 2010 conviction for murder and several
sexual assaults against vulnerable boys.

He complained that the part of his trial which related to the sexual offences against children had not respected his right to be presumed innocent.

The court found that the language used by the trial judge to direct the jury had not undermined O’Neill’s acquittal of one of the charges of sexual assault.

Similarly, in pointing out that there had been a procedural error in his acquittal, the Appeal Court had neither suggested that he had been guilty of the crimes of which he had been acquitted, nor voiced any suspicions in that regard.

In coming to those conclusions, the court considered it relevant that the “acquittal” on one of the charges had been based on a lack of jurisdiction, as opposed to being a true acquittal “on the merits.”

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