The judge who presided over the landmark case of disgraced Cardinal George Pell has spoken out in a TV interview.
County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd sentenced Pell to six years’ jail in March.
Mr Kidd, jokingly labelled a “maverick” judge by The Project host Waleed Ali, told the program in an interview on Tuesday night why he decided to have the sentencing aired live.
Pell raped one 13-year-old choirboy and sexually molested his friend in the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996 when he was newly-installed as Archbishop.
He molested the first boy again about a month later.
The trial was viewed around the world after Mr Kidd chose to broadcast Pell’s sentencing.
The Australian media could not report Pell’s convictions, despite being handed down in December, due to a suppression order until February.
“If they (the public) were to make a judgement about my particular sentence, which everybody is entitled to do as part of the democratic process, then it was important they heard those reasons in their entirety from me (and) not distorted or manipulated in any way by the commentators or politicians,” Mr Kidd told the program.
Mr Kidd added during his sentencing that Pell was not to be seen as a scapegoat for “perceived failings” of the Catholic church.
While he wouldn’t go into specifics surrounding Pell’s sentencing, Mr Kidd quashed any speculation high-profile figures ever receive preferential treatment when being sentenced.
“It’s not true that just because you’re a minister or the prime minister and you lose your job and you lose your status that you’re going to get a better outcome than someone else,” he said.
“In fact, the law grapples with this and says that’s exactly what the outcome shouldn’t be - you shouldn’t be simply rewarded because you’re a high-profile person.”
Pell won't be eligible for parole until he has served three years and eight months of his sentence.
- with AAP
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