Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale facing sex charges over 11 more victims

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VICTORIA Legal Aid has urged a judge to give vile sex monster Gerald Ridsdale the chance at parole despite shocking new admissions he raped a girl in a church.

The horrific ordeal of the young girl whose father left her on a church altar to be raped by Ridsdale on Tuesday moved a courtroom to tears.

But his taxpayer funded lawyer Tim Marsh, VLA’s chief counsel, urged County Court judge Irene Lawson not to interfere with Ridsdale’s earliest release date which is currently April 8, 2019.

“Mr Ridsdale is clearly a repugnant figure to many, for reasons that are only too understandable,” he said.

“The task for this court is not to pass a sentence that addresses community sentiment, but to impose a sentence that’s just in all the circumstances and applies the fundamentals of sentencing law.”

Disgraced priest Gerald Ridsdale giving evidence at the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.
Ridsdale has been in prison since 1994, and would have served 25 years by time he is currently due for parole, or 28 years if he completes his whole sentence.

Mr Marsh said Ridsdale’s was an unusual case in that he had faced four separate prosecutions over his three-decade career of evil.

But had he have been prosecuted for all his offending when first charged in 1994, it would be unlikely he would have been sentenced to a prison term in excess of what he is currently serving, he said.

Mr Marsh relied on High Court authorities to support his case, admitting his submission was a bold one.

“It is difficult to imagine in this day and age a more sustained episode of offending than that which Mr Ridsdale’s history describes,” he said.

Ridsdale, 83, pleaded guilty to 23 fresh sex crimes against children during the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

The offences, against 11 boys and a girl, included rape, buggery, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child.

Ridsdale in 1994 being brought into court.
They bring his official victim count to more than 60, but he has admitted the real number is in the hundreds.

The court heard one girl, who was abused by Ridsdale over more than two years in the 1970s, was personally delivered to the priest by her father.

On one occasion she was woken in the middle of the night and driven to a church where Ridsdale was waiting.

There, her dad stripped her, and Ridsdale abused her on the altar of the Ballarat church.

Gerald Ridsdale leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
On another occasion, the priest raped the then eight year old, after her dad again woke her and drove her to the church.

“Jesus died for our sins so we can be forgiven, and if I confess to this sin I might be forgiven as well,” Ridsdale told her.

Weeping spectators stood and left the hearing as details of the shocking crimes were outlined.

The court heard the frail Ridsdale, who shuffled into court supported by a walking frame, this morning had a fall and fainted before court.

Ridsdale first abused soon after being ordained, and from then on became a living nightmare for every child in Western Victoria.

He spent his career in the Ballarat diocese under disgraced bishop Ronald Mulkearns who routinely shuffled him between parishes as new allegations came to light.

Talking to church investigators in 1994, Ridsdale said he just couldn’t help but abuse children.

On Tuesday, nine of his victims faced him in court, with some telling of their fear for the man they knew to stay away from.

Ridsdale never lifted his head once.

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Source : http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/paedophile-priest-gerald-ridsdale-facing-sex-charges-over-11-more-victims/news-story/4429827c6b0efc09387b5c48d5b69d54

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