Child sexual abuse survivors are outraged by a Tasmanian Supreme Court decision that allows paedophile teacher Peter O'Neill to escape prison time with a suspended sentence.
Beyond Abuse founder Steve Fisher said people were disgusted by the five year suspended sentence of O'Neill, which failed to meet community expectations when it came to the punishment of child sex offenders.
This disgust, he said, is heightened by the inaction of a state government which asserts it is against suspended sentences, especially when it comes to child rapists.
Attorney-General Elise Archer said she would not intervene in the decision-making independence of the Department of Public Prosecutions.
"It would not be appropriate for me as Attorney-General to reflect, oversee or intervene in decisions relating to the conduct of criminal matters conducted independently from government."
Labor justice spokeswoman Ella Haddad said it was an insult to victims.
"The fact his sentence was suspended because of O'Neill's inability to travel back to Tasmania flies in the face of this government's claims to be tough on the perpetrators of child sexual abuse," she said.
"Elise Archer should at the very least have investigated ways for O'Neill to serve his sentence in the ACT where he currently lives."
O'Neill, 61, who taught at Burnie High School, Dominic College and St Virgils College, was handed a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to sexually abusing six boys aged between 11 and 15 in the 1980s.
Currently living in his home in Canberra, O'Neill was deemed medically unfit to travel to Tasmania for extradition purposes, with travel costs for the morbidly obese offender estimated by his defence lawyer Greg Barnes to cost up to $40,000.
Chief Justice Blow stated in his reasoning that O'Neill "deserves to spend a long time in prison" but handed down a suspended sentence according to the law available to him.
Mr Fisher, who is a survivor of child sexual abuse, said a court system that allowed such offenders to "pull the sick card" to escape prison time was unacceptable.
"He [O'Neill] has given six boys life sentences and he gets five years suspended. That is just crazy. When you do these horrendous crimes you should never be afforded any discount on sentencing," Mr Fisher said.
"He should not have the luxury of dying in his own bed when he has done such horrific things to people. His victims today would be feeling very sad, and so ripped off.
"These are the types of court decisions that stop victims coming forward. The legal fraternity has to get it together when it comes to sentencing."
Mr Fisher was concerned that future child abuse victims would not come forward if they believed their older perpetrators could escape jail time because of health reasons.
He said he hopes the Department of Public Prosecutions appeals the sentence.