Pell Sent To Prison After Bail Revoked
George Pell's pre-sentence hearing is over and after a day of protests, graphic details being shared with the court and courtroom speeches he is headed to jail.
In December 2018 a Melbourne jury found Pell guilty of five charges - one of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and four of committing an indecent act.
The jury deliberated for three days before finding him guilty of all counts.
On Wednesday morning Pell was greeting to a huge media scrum and protestors as he attended his pre-sentencing hearing.
The case has galvanised the nation and made international headlines since suppression orders on reporting about the verdict were lifted on Tuesday.
Two victim impact statements have been tendered in the pre-sentencing hearing taking place right now, one from the living victim and one from the dead victim's father.
In discussion with prosecutor Mark Gibson SC about how he'll assess Pell's moral culpability, Chief Justice Peter Kidd said: "Isn't part of it that in his mind, he thought he could get away with it?"
Gibson said Pell was in a position of power and authority "which had been breached in our submission".
The prosecution said Pell showed no remorse, nor has he taken responsibility.
"There remains no explanation for his offending," Gibson said.
The judge has said Pell's prospects for rehabilitation are "at the very least, very good" and that Pell is unlikely to re-offend.
During his submission to the court, Gibson said the crimes were "humiliating and degrading towards each boy and gave rise to distress in each boy".
He finished his submission by saying, "this offending warrants immediate imprisonment".
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The defence has tendered medical reports and 10 character references from people who are aware the cardinal has been convicted. One of those references was from former Prime Minister John Howard. Robert Richter QC told the judge they could have got hundreds of references if they had cast the net wider.
Richter said the references speak of a "life of devotion to service, both before and after...kindness and generosity above and beyond that of a priest".
'A man who had a great deal of compassion, a man who relates to anyone from Prime Ministers to street beggars...".
Richter told the court "these people love him. None of them believes he is capable of this".
Richter submitted the offences Pell was convicted of as low to moderate examples of the crimes. The judge accepted that and said, "I see this as a very serious example of this kind of offending".
Justice Kidd went on.
"He did have in his mind some sense of impunity. How else did he think he was going to get away with this" Kidd said.
He said Pell had exploited the two vulnerable boys.
"In my thinking at the moment, I'm not-I'll give you this much- I'm not near the lower end."
'He was pretty confident the boys wouldn't complain."
Richter disagrees with that as an assumption and told the judge "the notion of an arrogant belief of impunity is not in our submission open".
The Supreme Court of Victoria has now been advised that the bail application at the Court of Appeal previously listed for 2.30pm this afternoon has been withdrawn, so this hearing is no longer going ahead.
In further submissions, Richter said Pell's offending was spur of the moment.
"This is no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where a child is not volunteering or actively participating," he said.
But the judge hit back, labelling Pell's crimes callous and brazen.
"He engaged in some shocking conduct toward two boys," the judge said.
"At the moment, I see this as callous, brazen offending. Blatant."
Richter said he was in a difficult position as Pell's lawyer, as his client maintained his innocence.
"The cardinal's position is that he is innocent. I'm not in a position to say why he did something he says he didn't do," he said.
Pell has had his bail revoked and will remain in jail until his sentencing on March 13.