Current Trial George Pell - Suppression Order Post Conviction *LIFTED

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BlueE

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118 It may be accepted that the Court of Appeal majority did not err in holding that A's evidence of the first incident did not contain discrepancies, or display inadequacies, of such a character as to require the jury to have entertained a doubt as to guilt. The likelihood of two choirboys in their gowns being able to slip away from the procession without detection; of finding altar wine in an unlocked cupboard; and of the applicant being able to manoeuvre his vestments to expose his penis are considerations that may be put to one side. It remains that the evidence of witnesses, whose honesty was not in question, (i) placed the applicant on the steps of the Cathedral for at least ten minutes after Mass on 15 and 22 December 1996; (ii) placed him in the company of Portelli when he returned to the priests' sacristy to remove his vestments; and (iii) described continuous traffic into and out of the priests' sacristy for ten to 15 minutes after the altar servers completed their bows to the crucifix.

119 Upon the assumption that the jury assessed A's evidence as thoroughly credible and reliable, the issue for the Court of Appeal was whether the compounding improbabilities caused by the unchallenged evidence summarised in (i), (ii) and (iii) above nonetheless required the jury, acting rationally, to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant's guilt. Plainly they did. Making full allowance for the advantages enjoyed by the jury, there is a significant possibility in relation to charges one to four that an innocent person has been convicted.
Insulting for the Victim, Jury and Court of Appeal.

Yes we believe the victim to be a truthful and compelling witness (although the Court of Appeal should not have seen his video evidence because they might have been influenced by how truthful he was).

Jury and Court of Appeal heard evidence how Portelli often wasn't on the steps or in the rooms, because he was having a smoke outside in private. And his honesty was not in question? Jury and Court of Appeal looked closely at and tried on Pell's vestments and found it possible he could have exposed himself.

But the jury was not acting rationally when they found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt?
 

Aramis

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People in the know - Is it an unusual thing for the High court to say that there is a significant posibility of an innocent man being convicted?

They are just reaching and stating the logical conclusion from applying the principle in M v The Queen, nothing groundbreaking.

E.g. "Jury must have had a reasonable doubt", therefore > legal threshold/standard of proof of 'beyond reasonable doubt' not met, therefore > "significant possibility of an innocent man being convicted"...

Only word that you could interpret as the bench taking a stronger position than normal is "significant", but either way, with or without that word, its the same result. Inconsequential and pure semantics.

In actual fact it was a rather straight forward legal case that turned on a legal fundamental. It wasn't legally complex (however, note that it was definitely evidentially complex) nor did it turn on a "legal technicality" as some biased media outlets are incorrectly reporting.
 
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nick1408

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They are just reaching and stating the logical conclusion from applying the principle in M v The Queen, nothing groundbreaking.

E.g. "Jury must have had a reasonable doubt", therefore > legal threshold/standard of proof of 'beyond reasonable doubt' not met, therefore > "significant possibility of an innocent man being convicted"...

Only word that you could interpret as the bench taking a stronger position than normal is "significant", but either way, with or without that word, its the same result. Inconsequential and pure semantics.

In actual fact it was a rather straight forward legal case that turned on a legal fundamental. It wasn't legally complex (however, note that it was definitely evidentially complex) nor did it turn on a "legal technicality" as some biased media outlets are incorrectly reporting.

Thank you for explaining that. I am not one who usually reads judgements so I appreciate what you have said here
 

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Kurve

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When was the last time the High Court overturned a conviction on the basis that the jury and the presiding judge with all the evidence in front of them and no new information, got it wrong?
 

GreyCrow

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When was the last time the High Court overturned a conviction on the basis that the jury and the presiding judge with all the evidence in front of them and no new information, got it wrong?
I would also be interested - because my thinking would be it changes the function of a jury
 

Bunk Moreland

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I was quite shocked when he was convicted and am not surprised it’s been overturned.

Not that he and most senior Catholics who presided over abuse and the coverup of it don’t deserve to be in cells.

But on this case specifically (based only on what I’ve read, of course), there seemed reasonable doubt. I’ll admit to finding the victim’s tale somewhat fanciful.
 

Aramis

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When was the last time the High Court overturned a conviction on the basis that the jury and the presiding judge with all the evidence in front of them and no new information, got it wrong?

Happens more regularly than one would think. More so in the state-level Supreme Courts but also in the High Court.

After 30 seconds of digging... The High Court quashed a conviction and entered a verdict of acquittal in another case in November 2019 - https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/HCA/2019/37.html?context=1;query=[2019] HCA 37;mask_path=
Heres a Victorian state level decision (5 December 2019) - https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2019/284.html?context=1;query=[2019] VSCA 284;mask_path=

Interestingly, the High Court case above is for Murder and the Vic Supreme Court decision was for one charge of committing an indecent act in the presence of a child under 16 years and one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 years (very similar to Pell)

Bear in mind, I am cherry-picking cases where the test was met. Many, many that are appealed on these grounds fail the test and the jury verdict is therefore upheld.

Very similar (if not the exact same) principles apply in the cases above as it did in Pells matter. All are equal in the eyes of the law.

I would also be interested - because my thinking would be it changes the function of a jury

Doesn't change the function of the jury per se. An appellate courts role is more akin to 'checks and balances'. The test is quite robust and has a high threshold to overcome for a successful appeal.

Thank you for explaining that. I am not one who usually reads judgements so I appreciate what you have said here

Not a problem at all. Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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AndyD

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I was quite shocked when he was convicted and am not surprised it’s been overturned.

Not that he and most senior Catholics who presided over abuse and the coverup of it don’t deserve to be in cells.

But on this case specifically (based only on what I’ve read, of course), there seemed reasonable doubt. I’ll admit to finding the victim’s tale somewhat fanciful.

That is pretty much my opinion on this. He deserves to be punished for his failings in protecting children from pedophile priests, but I do not believe he felt up a choirboy against a wall in the middle of a procession with nobody noticing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Aramis

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That is pretty much my opinion on this. He deserves to be punished for his failings in protecting children from pedophile priests, but I do not believe he felt up a choirboy against a wall in the middle of a procession with nobody noticing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

As an aside and somewhat of a digression, it completely goes against the grain of how paedophiles usually operate (I base this on having read a lot of case law around these crimes), they are cunning, sly and go to great lengths to isolate their victims (e.g. baby sitting, boarding schools, single deranged parent with children etc). Its not usually an opportunistic crime.... Its a very, very significant act which you imagine would have caused a great deal of commotion from the victims perspectives. Heck, thinking back to when I was a kid if some older person pulled their junk out, Id be screaming, crying, and making noise, not sitting their silent whilst obliging.
 
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Kurve

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The Royal Commission findings unredacted, have exposed George Pell's knowledge and calls him a liar.

Cardinal George Pell knew a priest was moved because he had sexually abused children and should have done more about an unstable priest in another Victorian parish, a royal commission has found.

The child abuse royal commission rejected Cardinal Pell's evidence that he was deceived and lied to by Catholic Church officials about Australia's worst pedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, and Melbourne parish priest Peter Searson.

The commission rejected Cardinal Pell's claim that Bishop Mulkearns lied to or deceived his advisers in 1982 when Ridsdale was removed from the parish of Mortlake, where the priest later admitted his behaviour was "out of control".

Carindal Pell gave evidence the bishop did not give the true reason for Ridsdale's removal and lied by not doing so.

"Cardinal Pell's evidence that 'paedophilia was not mentioned' and the 'true' reason was not given is not accepted," the commission said.

The commission also rejected Cardinal Pell's evidence he was deceived by Melbourne Catholic education officials because they did not tell him what they knew about (another) Searson's behaviour.

 

Hojuman

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Enjoy Gerald, you deserve it. 69 children were irrevocably destroyed to satisfy your uncotrolled desires. Hope it's a freezing cold day in your concrete and iron box when you take your last breath.
 
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Kurve

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The father of a former choirboy who prosecutors had alleged was sexually abused by George Pell in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral has launched civil action in an attempt to sue the cardinal and the Catholic Church.

 

Angry Red Bull

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Alleged bribing of witnesses against Pell.


Pell had, in his role as financial controller of the church, came very close to uncovering fraud on a massive scale committed against the church by well placed officials. It was from that frame of reference I assume that the transfer of money to Australia occurred to distract him with allegations and charges and prejudicing outcomes. Once it all went down he ceased his role and to my knowledge his investigations also ceased so whatever fraud existed never surfaced. You might say the money achieved it's purpose

The father of a former choirboy who prosecutors had alleged was sexually abused by George Pell in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral has launched civil action in an attempt to sue the cardinal and the Catholic Church.


Conviction against Pell was quashed in unanimous High court decision.....ALL judges considered his conviction a mistake and unsafe After the Royal Commission it was clear to everybody that the Catholic Church dropped the ball in failing to have adequate systems to deal with sexual abuse by Pedaphile priests. Should accept that blame imo. The allegations against Pell seemed to arise from the ashes of that where all of a sudden there are historical charges. Pedaphiles are repeat offenders and there would be an entrenched pattern if Pell were one.....like there is for Risdale. There wasn't. When you scratch the surface of facts in that case it was my view the abuse never happened.

Pell wasn't responsible for the allegations and charges raised against him. Police were and on suspect facts. Given a HC unanimously resolved there was no merit to them I'm somewhat astounded a civil case has now been commenced against him and Catholic Church by the father as though he is fiscally responsible for the trauma suffered from them. The case is a ridiculous case without foundation. Wasn't foundation for the criminal conviction and clearly won't be for a civil remedy for trauma suffered by the father at becoming aware of allegations brought by police. The case relies upon the existence of wrong doing by Pell and the church ie that there was abuse and further the allegations that ensued. The HC quashed it so the foundation of there being wrong doing is tenuous to nil. If I were the Church I would rely upon the Ellis defence that there is no entity as such and can't be sued. Of course if they did that the church would have another wave of negative publicity which they can ill afford.

Given the chance of success is remote to non existent it gets me to wondering about where that Austrac money went (see above). I have an opinion but won't express it

I don't know because I haven't looked. It wouldn't surprise me if Pell was offering services as a consultant to the Church revisiting the fraud investigation and targets are once again nervous . That would explain a lot. I might have a look.
 
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Slartibartfast

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Pell had, in his role as financial controller of the church, came very close to uncovering fraud on a massive scale committed against the church by well placed officials. It was from that frame of reference I assume that the transfer of money to Australia occurred to distract him with allegations and charges and prejudicing outcomes. Once it all went down he ceased his role and to my knowledge his investigations also ceased so whatever fraud existed never surfaced. You might say the money achieved it's purpose



Conviction against Pell was quashed in unanimous High court decision.....ALL judges considered his conviction a mistake and unsafe After the Royal Commission it was clear to everybody that the Catholic Church dropped the ball in failing to have adequate systems to deal with sexual abuse by Pedaphile priests. Should accept that blame imo. The allegations against Pell seemed to arise from the ashes of that where all of a sudden there are historical charges. Pedaphiles are repeat offenders and there would be an entrenched pattern if Pell were one.....like there is for Risdale. There wasn't. When you scratch the surface of facts in that case it was my view the abuse never happened.

Pell wasn't responsible for the allegations and charges raised against him. Police were and on suspect facts. Given a HC unanimously resolved there was no merit to them I'm somewhat astounded a civil case has now been commenced against him and Catholic Church by the father as though he is fiscally responsible for the trauma suffered from them. The case is a ridiculous case without foundation. Wasn't foundation for the criminal conviction and clearly won't be for a civil remedy for trauma suffered by the father at becoming aware of allegations brought by police. The case relies upon the existence of wrong doing by Pell and the church ie that there was abuse and further the allegations that ensued. The HC quashed it so the foundation of there being wrong doing is tenuous to nil. If I were the Church I would rely upon the Ellis defence that there is no entity as such and can't be sued. Of course if they did that the church would have another wave of negative publicity which they can ill afford.

Given the chance of success is remote to non existent it gets me to wondering about where that Austrac money went (see above). I have an opinion but won't express it

I don't know because I haven't looked. It wouldn't surprise me if Pell was offering services as a consultant to the Church revisiting the fraud investigation and targets are once again nervous . That would explain a lot. I might have a look.
Pell has a long history of sexual abuse allegations against him, most were dismissed due to silks making victims with substance abuse issues look Not credible.

Then you have the fact that victims then had to face the man himself in his position as part of ther “melbourne response” which discouraged other victims from coming forward, Pell was an intimidating force to people of power so how a victim would perceive a positive outcome where Pell was involved is impossible. . Under the charade of “truth, humility and healing” he bullied , browbeat and minimised victims in a legalistic response.

The pain a victim has to face in coming forth to deal with these issues requires absolute support not a stonewall with people at the top throwing more rocks. We will never know the full total of the victims .
if you dont think money buys justice you live in a dreamland. The amount of money spent defending Pell is huge, the church went all in.
The fact his lawyers were able to cast doubt does not mean his victims were not telling the truth or Pell was not a long term perpetrator of abuse.
 

Angry Red Bull

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Pell has a long history of sexual abuse allegations against him, most were dismissed due to silks making victims with substance abuse issues look Not credible.

Then you have the fact that victims then had to face the man himself in his position as part of ther “melbourne response” which discouraged other victims from coming forward, Pell was an intimidating force to people of power so how a victim would perceive a positive outcome where Pell was involved is impossible. . Under the charade of “truth, humility and healing” he bullied , browbeat and minimised victims in a legalistic response.

The pain a victim has to face in coming forth to deal with these issues requires absolute support not a stonewall with people at the top throwing more rocks. We will never know the full total of the victims .
if you dont think money buys justice you live in a dreamland. The amount of money spent defending Pell is huge, the church went all in.
The fact his lawyers were able to cast doubt does not mean his victims were not telling the truth or Pell was not a long term perpetrator of abuse.

I analysed the case before his guilty verdict and thought it was comfortably not guilty. Ultimately 7 nil quashing by HC agrees with that. I don't for one second think he was guilty on the evidence. Being head of Catholic church makes him target because of their obfuscation and general weak handling of child sex abuse matters. Agree on that. Don't agree on his personal guilt.

Interesting that the common theme is that decades later when he had reached a certain pinnacle in the Catholic Church it was then these things would surface. There is genuine hatred in the community for Catholic response to child sex abuse. My mother even when we discussed Pell said he should go to jail even if innocent as the face of Catholic sex abuse evil. Wow. I don't discount that anti. Catholic Church sentiment colours opinions around Pell. I have my doubts
 
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Slartibartfast

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I dont for one second think he is innocent . In fact I know!!
high priced silks worked there magic, thats all.
So your saying as he was high up in the church was the reason he was targeted?? Wow , people do not choose to take on George Pell. His power was plain to see And fear. No one makes allegations against him on a whim.
 

Angry Red Bull

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I dont for one second think he is innocent . In fact I know!!
high priced silks worked there magic, thats all.
So your saying as he was high up in the church was the reason he was targeted?? Wow , people do not choose to take on George Pell. His power was plain to see And fear. No one makes allegations against him on a whim.

How do you know? I'm intrigued

Yeah I pretty much believe post Royal Commission that he became a target as the face of Catholic Church. Throw as much mud as possible at him and see what happens.

I would love to know from where and to whom that Austrac money transfer occurred. I think there was an agenda from overseas to get him and locally as face of Catholic Church. If you know something concrete other than. "standing nude in a change room with boys there" I'd love to hear it. I have an open mind
 
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I analysed the case before his guilty verdict and thought it was comfortably not guilty. Ultimately 7 nil quashing by HC agrees with that. I don't for one second think he was guilty on the evidence. Being head of Catholic church makes him target because of their obfuscation and general weak handling of child sex abuse matters. Agree on that. Don't agree on his personal guilt.

Pell was acquitted. There is a difference between that and a 'not guilty' verdict.....
 

Kurve

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Interesting that the common theme is that decades later when he had reached a certain pinnacle in the Catholic Church it was then these things would surface.

That's not true, it was known within the Catholic Church and among the 'priesthood' for decades there'd been complaint/s of the nature Pell ended up facing charges for. I have personal knowledge of this.
 

Angry Red Bull

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That's not true, it was known within the Catholic Church and among the 'priesthood' for decades there'd been complaint/s of the nature Pell ended up facing charges for. I have personal knowledge of this.

If he has committed child sexual abuse then he should be punished for it. Where are the charges? What is the proof? There has been one charge been quashed, one case not proceeded with, one situation where he was naked in a public change room. You say you have personal knowledge which from my perspective absent that knowledge means it's rumour. I'm not driven by rumour. People's good character can be assassinated on it.
 

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