Cardinal Pell behind bars after bail revoked

UPDATE at 2:30 PM | CARDINAL George Pell will spend the next two weeks behind bars before he is sentenced for child sex crimes after his bail was officially revoked.

The 77-year-old was escorted out of Melbourne’s County Court, flanked by corrections officers on Wednesday afternoon after his defence team withdrew a bail application and the Cardinal was remanded in custody.

He’ll remain behind bars until he is sentenced on March 13.


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Tonight will be the first night that Pell has spent behind bars since being charged with five child sex offences, of which he was convicted of last December.

The charges relate to the sexual abuse of two choirboys in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral dating back to 1996.

UPDATE at 1:15 PM: CARDINAL Pell’s defence lawyer Robert Richter QC has told the court his client’s offences were not premeditated and that the offending “was very short”.

In what’s reported to be an attempt at a more lenient sentence, he’s directly quoted as saying: “This is no more than a plain, vanilla, sexual penetration case,” Mr Richter said.

EARLIER at 12:20 PM | CARDINAL George Pell has withdrawn his bail application which was scheduled at 2.30pm today.

He’s now set to be taken into custody this afternoon, at the conclusion of his pre-sentence hearing.

His hearing has so far heard from 10 character references, including one from former Prime Minister John Howard.

While the presiding Judge Peter Kidd has said there was an element of brutality to his crimes and it is not at the low end of offering.

Pell was still in court at the time of writing.

FIRST at 7:00 AM | CARDINAL George Pell will return to court in Melbourne today, where it’s expected he will be taken into custody.

Yesterday it was finally able to be revealed, that Cardinal Pell was found guilty of raping a choirboy and molesting another back in the 1990s.

His guilty verdict was reached back in December 2018, though the mainstream media was unable to report on it until a suppression order was lifted yesterday.

Cardinal Pell’s lawyers have already launched an appeal over the decision, though he will likely spend his time in jail unless appeal bail is granted.

Today is the pre-sentence hearing before his sentencing next week, though Cardinal Pell is also listed to make a bail application this afternoon.

A date has not yet been set for the appeal.

The Vatican’s much anticipated response to the news was released overnight, when spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said they will not be taking any immediate disciplinary action.

“We await the outcome of the appeals process, recalling that Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence and has the right to defend himself until the last stage of appeal,” Mr Gisotti said.

His guilty verdict was reached back in December 2018, though the mainstream media was unable to report on it until a suppression order was lifted yesterday.

The Pope’s child sex abuse summit wrapped up in the Vatican just two days ago.

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