TODAY |

Cardinal George Pell to wait two weeks to know how long his sentence will be

One night in prison down, Cardinal George Pell must now wait two weeks to find out just how long his sentence will be.

The 77-year-old was remanded in custody on Wednesday ahead of sentencing by County Court chief judge Peter Kidd for orally raping one 13-year-old boy and molesting another after a Sunday mass at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne in 1996.

Australia's top-ranking Catholic won't apply for bail or pursue his appeal until after the sentence is handed down on March 13.

    Your playlist will load after this ad

    Leonie Sheedy of survivor group Care Leavers Australasia Network talks to 1 NEWS Australia Correspondent Ryan Boswell outside court in Melbourne. Source: 1 NEWS

    Pell's barrister Robert Richter QC conceded imprisonment is inevitable, while senior crown prosecutor Mark Gibson SC went a step further to indicate the time behind bars is likely to be "significant".

    Each of the five charges he was convicted of by a jury in December carries a 10-year maximum sentence.

    He's expected to spend long periods on lockdown in protective custody.

      Your playlist will load after this ad

      On February 26 Pell was convicted of molesting two choirboys. Source: Associated Press

      Mr Richter argued in Wednesday's pre-sentence that Pell's offending was at the low end of the scale and had no aggravating features.

      "This is no more than a plain, vanilla sexual penetration case where a child is not volunteering or actively participating," Mr Richter said.

      "It must be clear by now I am struggling with that," Judge Kidd replied, hitting back.

      He labelled Pell's behaviour as callous and brazen.

      A reference from former Australian prime minister John Howard was one of 10 put forward by the defence, along with two medical reports.

      While Judge Kidd regarded Pell as being unlikely to re-offend, Mr Gibson pushed back over the cardinal's lack of explanation for his behaviour.

      "The prisoner has shown no remorse or insight into his offending," he said.

      Pell will also be registered as a serious sex offender.

        Your playlist will load after this ad

        The high-ranking Australian official has been convicted of molesting two young boys, and his bail has been revoked. Source: 1 NEWS


        More From