Former Tasburgh man and Norfolk GP jailed for child sex offences admits further abuse

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VILLAGE SIGN - TASBURGH ENGANL00120121029163350

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A former Tasburgh resident and Norfolk GP convicted of child rape and sexual assault has admitted 13 further sexual offences against women in the county.

Dr Hugh O’Neill, 62, who was a GP at Horsford Medical Centre, is currently serving a 12 year jail term for the rape and sexual assault convictions against two girls aged under 14 after being sentenced at the end of January last year. Those offences took place between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2002, and did not relate to his job as a doctor.

I hope today’s pleas provide some level of closure and allows each victim to move on positively with their lives

Detective Superintendent Kathryn Thacker

The latest indictments of sexual assault relate to his professional role, and the victims include 13 female police officers at Norfolk Constabulary where O’Neill was Force Medical Advisor between 1991 and 2003.

He will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, April 18.

Detective Superintendent Kathryn Thacker, who led the enquiry said: “It’s now clear O’Neill was a sexual predator who operated in plain sight for a number of years.

“These pleas follow a detailed and sensitive investigation which began in 2014. O’Neill was clearly a repeat offender who abused his position of power for his own gratification.

“It was incredibly brave for the victims to come forward and speak to officers as his abuse has had a lasting effect on them all. During the enquiry, we have, and will continue to, offer them a range of support as we would do with all victims of crime.

“I hope today’s pleas provide some level of closure and allows each victim to move on positively with their lives.”

Det Supt Thacker added: “In respect of his role as the Force Medical Advisor, the Constabulary has commissioned a Professional Standards investigation into the previous enquiries in 1993 and 2002 to determine if any lessons can be learned by the Constabulary around this. This enquiry continues.”

An investigation was launched by the Safeguarding and Investigations Command in July 2014 after officers were contacted by a victim who had made a historical allegation of gross indecency.

The first case prompted a reinvestigation of a number of previous allegations made between 1991 and 2003 which did not, at the time and following consultation with CPS, lead to criminal prosecution. The matter was referred by the Constabulary to the IPCC who determined a local investigation was appropriate.

To maintain independent scrutiny, this investigation is being led by another force, assisted by the Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department.