Canadian paedophile found guilty of second crime in Thailand

November 24th, 2008 - 12:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangkok, Nov 24 (DPA) Bangkok’s Criminal Court Monday said a Canadian paedophile nabbed in Thailand last year after German police “unswirled” his altered photograph on the Internet has been given an additional six years in jail.The court confirmed that Christopher Paul Neil, 33, had been sentenced to just under six years jail earlier this month for molesting a Thai boy in 2003, after claiming his innocence. He was also ordered to pay 50,000 baht ($1,420) compensation to the boy’s family. The verdict was given in an unscheduled hearing on Nov 14 and not reported at the time.

In a separate case, Neil had already been found guilty of abducting and molesting a minor in 2003 when he was teaching English in Bangkok, and of distributing pornography. The court had sentenced him to three years and three months in jail. The sentence was commuted after Neil pleaded guilty.

Neil was arrested Oct 19 in Thailand’s Nakorn Ratchasima province, 210 km north-east of Bangkok, ending an international manhunt sparked after Interpol released his picture with a red alert, its highest search signal.

Thai police dubbed Neil, a former English teacher, “a serious threat to society,” saying he was suspected of having abused scores, possibly hundreds, of boys - some as young as six - as well as girls.

German police investigators triggered an international manhunt for Neil last year when they managed to “uncoil” his digitally altered, swirled Internet photographs that showed him abusing a dozen young boys in Cambodia and Vietnam, some appearing to be well under 10.

Neil was tracked down in north-eastern Thailand after a Thai boy came forward to accuse the Canadian of paying for oral sex, allowing police to issue an arrest warrant.

Canada also has laws allowing it to punish paedophiles for their crimes in third countries.

Former colleagues have regaled reporters with their impressions of Neil as an “unassuming character” and “diligent teacher”.

But writings attributed to him on social-networking websites and elsewhere show evidence of an arrogant character who offered advice about cleaning a computer of “dangerous” photographs and how to avoid character checks when applying for teaching jobs.

German police started investigating Neil’s activities when they discovered three years ago that his altered picture appeared in scores of paedophilia images on the Internet.

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