Cheering as Pell’s freedom bid rejected
VICTIM'S rights advocates and sex abuse survivors have reacted with jubilation to the news disgraced cardinal George Pell will remain behind bars, after his appeal was rejected by the Victorian Supreme Court.
Crowds cheered outside court as Pell's bid to have his convictions over child sex crimes overturned was rejected this morning.
"This is one of the greatest moments now, and our children are more protected than ever," a victim's right's campaigner said outside the court today.
"It is a glorious day for us and survivors everywhere. It's just wonderful."
The father of one of Pell's victims also appeared in court today and as the appeal was dismissed, he was "smiling broadly", according to reports.
Pell, one of Australia's most high profile Catholics, and the former treasurer for the Vatican, was convicted of five charges of sexually assaulting choirboys in December last year. The five charges included the rape of one choirboy, 13, and sexual assault of another at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996.
Judgment will be delivered by the Court of Appeal in George Pell v The Queen today at 9.30am. Delivery of judgment will be live streamed via our website at the following link: https://t.co/xLPCYQG4an— Supreme Court of Vic (@SCVSupremeCourt) August 20, 2019
Survivors cheer outside court. pic.twitter.com/F8bdmmnn66— Tamsin Rose (@tamsinroses) August 20, 2019
The father of one of Pell’s victims is in court. He is smiling broadly.— Shannon Deery (@s_deery) August 20, 2019
Before the decision was handed out this morning, anxious journalists and broadcasters tweeted images of crowds and disputes between protesters.
Back in the chaos. Pell appeal decision to be delivered this morning from 9.30am pic.twitter.com/UeysP4DMOS— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) August 20, 2019
Writer, TV personality and former actor Marieke Hardy said she sent her "love and solidarity" to people affected by the appeal, before the decision was handed down.
Love and solidarity to any survivors or loved ones of survivors bone-rattled by the Pell appeal today. We see you and we're here. x— Marieke Hardy (@mariekehardy) August 20, 2019
After Pell's appeal was dismissed, a journalist inside the court said the Cardinal looked broken by the news.
Pell now stooped in his chair with head bowed while Justice Anne Ferguson is reading a summary of the case against him. The 78yo prisoner looks frail and dejected. First time since the guilty verdict that his poker face has gone. He looks destroyed.— Eliza Rugg (@Eliza_Rugg9) August 20, 2019
Bottom line: two judges Ferguson and Maxwell believed the complainant against George Pell as a witness of truth and credibility. Not a fantasist. Justice Weinberg dissented. #7NewsMelb.— Brendan Donohoe (@BrendanDonohoe7) August 20, 2019
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young called for Pell to be stripped of his Order of Australia.
George Pell must now be stripped of his Order of Australia. There is no excuses now.— 💧Sarah Hanson-Young💚 (@sarahinthesen8) August 21, 2019
The New York Times called the upholding of the conviction a symptom of the Catholic Church's "child sex abuse crisis".
An Australian court upheld the sexual abuse conviction of Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic leader ever found guilty in a criminal court in the church’s child sex abuse crisis https://t.co/P3sw193T05— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 21, 2019
Pell arrived at Victoria's Supreme Court in Melbourne earlier this morning, swiftly exiting a white van and handcuffed, entering the building with a guard.
"I think today is going to be explosive. There's no doubt about that. We're in for a shocking day," abuse survivor Michael Advocate told AAP outside the court.
The father of a man who died, who was found to be one of Pell's victims, had a sleepless night ahead of Wednesday's decision, his lawyer Lisa Flynn, told Melbourne radio 3AW.
Another abuse advocate, Robert House, said he'd been concerned about the outcome of Pell's appeal.
He said if it was successful, it could discourage other survivors from coming forward to report their abuse.
- with AAP