The gag order was cancelled when the second trial was not proceeded with – the prosecution said something silly about leaving the papers on a train, or the dog eating them – whatever. The victim(s) were, unsurprisingly, more than a little miffed, but the official response was “tough”.
So Australians were then allowed to know what the rest of the world already knew, that Pell had been found guilty at the first trial by a unanimous jury. His rich and powerful friends and colleagues immediately screamed that they didn’t believe it, that their mate George wouldn’t do anything like that, that the jury was corrupt and so on, ad bloody nauseam. They were a little stunned when most Aussies and the official Roman Catholic church told them to shut up and respect the court, the jury and the victims. Pell immediately applied for an appeal (three points, one of which was that the jury’s verdict had been unreasonable! The arrogance of the man!).
Today Pell was sentenced to 6 years in prison, with a minimum of 3 years and 8 months to be served before he could apply for parole. The Judge was scathing about Pell’s lack of remorse and his refusal to accept his guilt.
The initial appeal hearing will be in June, but for now it’s back to his cell for George. Once regarded as the third most powerful man in the RC church, earmarked by many as the next pope in waiting, regarding himself as cast iron and far too senior to be troubled by the laws of men, he’s finally got his comeuppance. How are the mighty fallen!
Perhaps this will “encourager les autres”. Je m’en doubte. 😢