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Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 13:41 UK

Canadian sentenced for sex abuse

Christopher Neil in court in Bangkok on Friday for sentencing
Christopher Neil accepted this sentence, but denies other charges

Canadian schoolteacher Christopher Neil has been sentenced to three years and three months in jail for abusing a 13-year-old boy in Thailand.

The 32-year-old was also fined 60,000 baht ($1,780). He still faces similar charges, which he denies, relating to the victim's younger brother.

Neil was detained last year after a doctored internet image was unscrambled using digital technology.

Hundreds of photos allegedly showing him abusing Asian boys were uncovered.

Neil received half the sentence he might have faced, because he pleaded guilty to the charges.

But he denies abusing the victim's brother, who was nine at the time of the alleged offence. Neil's trial on that charge is scheduled for October, and he faces up to 20 years in jail if found guilty.

Neil, who only said "OK" after the sentence was passed, will not appeal against the sentence imposed on Friday.

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October 2007: How police caught Neil

Interpol appeal

Photos were found online in 2004 of a man sexually abusing at least a dozen Vietnamese and Cambodian boys, some as young as six, but the face of the suspect had been digitally obscured by a swirling shape.

Interpol unscrambled the images and issued them to the media for broadcast in its first ever public appeal.

Investigators received hundreds of tips which led to Neil's arrest on 19 October 2007.

Reacting to the verdict, child rights campaigners said the sentence was light.

But some added that they expected him to be tried and found guilty on further abuse charges.




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