George Pell sentenced to six years in prison for 'callous & brazen' abuse

Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in prison for ‘callous & brazen’ abuse

Chief Judge Peter Kidd has sentenced Cardinal George Pell to six years in jail for the ‘violent’ and ‘brazen’ abuse of two choirboys in Melbourne in 1996. The sentence includes a non-parole period of three years and eight months.

In delivering his sentence Chief Judge Peter Kidd was meticulous and thorough addressing the issue of Pell’s public profile and the significant interest in his case and his own decision to broadcast the judgement.

While stating George Pell could not be ‘a scapegoat’ for the catholic church’s failings Judge Kidd rejected the argument that Pell was merely a ‘man’, not ‘the Archbishop’ in offending.

“The full weight of your authority and position of power must have been very obvious to your victims and you,” Judge Kidd said. “You had a degree of confidence victims would not complain either immediately or by running out at some later stage.”

The Blue Knot Foundation, Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, said the six year sentence is ‘profoundly disappointing’.

“Although this is a significant sentence, it is not as much as what we would’ve hoped,” Kezelman says. “It’s profoundly disappointing for survivors whose own lives have been destroyed by the crime of child sexual abuse. It also makes a mockery of the concept of true accountability and is not a sentence commensurate with the crimes committed and the harm reaped. We must remember that victims are sentenced for life. He was not.”

Cardinal Pell will be a registered “serious sexual offender” for life.

Need Support? Call the Blue Knot helpline on 1300 657 380 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Sunday AEST. You can also email helpline@blueknot.org.au

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