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May 6, 2004updated 17 May 2007 11:30am

Mail praised for part in convicting paedophile

By Press Gazette

Newey praised bravery of victim who helped Mail to convict paedophile

A serial paedophile has been put behind bars with the help of the Birmingham Evening Mail.

Martin O’Neill escaped a prison term in January, despite admitting sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy.

But his victim waived his right to anonymity and called for others who had been abused by O’Neill, who was pictured on the Evening Mail’s front page, to come forward.

As a result, a 12-year-old boy who had lived next door to O’Neill and been abused by him over a period of 18 months contacted the police.

O’Neill was re-arrested and charged and has now been sentenced to threeanda-half years in prison.

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In Birmingham Crown Court, the prosecution praised the Evening Mail for the part it played in the case.

Trainee reporter Guy Newey, who covered the case, said: “The first victim had attempted suicide as a result of the abuse and because it had taken place eight years earlier, a great deal of bitterness had developed.

“But he showed heroic bravery in agreeing to be named. His story provided a harrowing insight into the long-term horror child abuse can cause.”

By Dominic Ponsford

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

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