Australian child predator Peter Scully has reportedly been found guilty of rape and human trafficking in the Philippines.
Filipino news website Rappler reports a regional court in Cagayan de Oro city found Scully guilty of sexually abusing young children and sentenced him to life behind bars.
Scully was reportedly convicted on one count of human trafficking and five counts of rape by sexual assault after the court heard horrific details about his crimes against children.
The Australian is also said to be facing more than 50 other cases in courts across the Philippines.
Filipino police say Scully’s crimes are some of the worst cases of torture and child sexual abuse they’ve ever seen. Police in the Philippines allege that Scully produced child pornography and sold it online for thousands of dollars.
He is also facing murder charges after police uncovered the body of a young girl. Scully is accused of assaulting her before he killed her.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Australia taxpayers were footing the bill for Scully’s defence under Serious Overseas Criminal Matters Scheme that supports Australians on trial in foreign countries.
At the time, The Australian reported that Scully had been awarded $500,000 under the scheme, despite his sickening crimes.
The revelation sparked anger from Australian taxpayers, but Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop cautioned against removing support for Aussies accused of crimes overseas, and told the ABC, “it would depend very much on what was known about their history, about whether they’ve got a history of convictions or offending”.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said the funding for Sully’s case was approved under his predecessor George Brandis and that he had asked his team to look the matter.
“The Serious Overseas Criminal Matters Scheme exists to provide legal support to Australians facing serious criminal matters in overseas jurisdictions, according to set criteria, which include that the claimant is facing more than 20 years in jail/death penalty,” Porter said in a statement. “There are circumstances where such support is absolutely appropriate.
“However, determinations in this case were made prior to my becoming Attorney-General. I had already asked my Department for information on the Scheme, including this particular case, with a view to considering changes to the Scheme, so that persons in circumstances similar to Mr Scully or those with histories of sexual offending and relevant convictions would no longer be eligible.”
It is not known whether Scully is still receiving legal funding under the scheme.