He had a very dark side which he kept concealed.James Varley, prosecuting A Sunday school teacher was jailed for life today for a string of sickening child sex offences against girls as young as four in the Philippines – despite being 7,000 miles away.Married father-of-two Paul O’Neill, 57, who taught maths at a Catholic secondary school, arranged for youngsters to be raped and abused by adults, watching live on a webcam and directing the offences from his home in Wollaton Vale in Nottingham.At Nottingham Crown Court O’Neill admitted 30 charges, involving 12 girls aged from four to 15, including three child rapes, arranging or facilitating the commission of child sex offences, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, conspiring to rape a child, and arranging child prostitution.In a case thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, O’Neill, who was a minister with special responsibilities for children with the New Apostolic Church, was charged despite not being present or physically taking part in the abuse. James Varley, prosecuting, said: “In short Mr O’Neill, a retired teacher, a bastion of the local church community, a Sunday School teacher, appeared to be a wholesome married father-of-two. Prosecutors described O’Neill as a “virtual sex tourist” with a “very dark secret”, and said he “relished” the financial imbalance between himself and his poverty-stricken victims. The offences took place between 2008 and 2016, and involved girls between four and 15. Mr Varley said: “The chat logs are very explicit. In them, he either orders in advance what he wants, or once children are procured and are in front of the camera, he directs the action. “It is plain he is relishing the imbalance between him and them, and what he can get them to do. Some of it is quite chilling in its coldness. At one point he says, as if it is a joke, ‘I am a bad man’.”The hearing was told O’Neill was known to have travelled to the Philippines for some years as a teacher for a charity, but it was not known whether he had personally abused any children. He taught for 25 years at The Becket School in West Bridgford, Nottingham, retiring last August. “We know that is not the case. In fact, he had a very dark side which he kept concealed. He was obsessed with the exploitation of young children, particularly pre-pubescent young girls.”Mr Varley said: “This was virtual sex tourism. People were being exploited in the Philippines, which is a very poor country. “When there were occasions where people were unwilling, he was very clear – they would not get the money they required for the medicine for their family, or whatever it was. “There is, tragically, an industry in the Philippines where very young children are exploited for the titillation of Western men on webcam, and shows are ordered in advance and the person would effectively direct the shows using chat logs.”He became aware, doubtless via web searches, that this market existed, and became a very enthusiastic user of it.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mr O’Neill, a retired teacher, a bastion of the local church community, a Sunday School teacher, appeared to be a wholesome married father-of-two. We know that is not the case.James Varley, prosecuting This was virtual sex tourism.James Varley, prosecuting O’Neill was arrested in November last year after police were notified about high volumes of payments to the Philippines, and his computer equipment seized.Investigations revealed he had sent at least £6,000, described by Mr Varley as a “phenomenal” sum of money there. Incredibly, after being released on bail, the “first thing” he did was to buy a new laptop and use it to search for explicit terms.
Read more on Sunday school teacher directed sex offences via internet from 7000 miles away