Australia

Father of deceased choir boy abused by Pell anxious about appeal

George Pell leaves the County Court in Melbourne earlier this year. Source: AP

A man suing George Pell after the priest abused his now-deceased son during the 1990s says he is anxious to see if the disgraced cardinal wins an appeal against conviction.

The father of a choirboy sexually abused by George Pell is waiting "with bated breath" to see if the disgraced cardinal's conviction will be overturned

The man's son died in 2014 from a drug overdose, which the man argues was linked to post-traumatic stress disorder caused years earlier when Pell sexually abused the boy as a 13-year-old.

The Court of Appeal will hand down its judgment in Pell's appeal against conviction on Wednesday morning, meaning the former Vatican official could walk free from jail, get a retrial, or remain behind bars.

Prosecutors Angela Ellis (left) and Mark Gibson (right) leave the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne.
Prosecutors Angela Ellis (left) and Mark Gibson (right) leave the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne.
AAP

Even if the 78-year-old is freed from jail, the choirboy's father says he will still pursue the priest and Catholic Church for compensation.

"On Wednesday, victims of child sexual abuse around the world will wait with bated breath as one of the most significant legal decisions in recent history is handed down," the man's lawyer, Lisa Flynn, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Our client is anxious about the decision. The whole process has been really tough on him and his health. He just wants closure so he can get on with his life and stop thinking about it every single day.

"He has expressed that he would like to see justice prevail and George Pell kept behind bars where he cannot prey on more unsuspecting children."

The convicted pedophile is serving at least three years and eight months' jail after a jury convicted him in December for sexually abusing two choirboys during 1996.

Pell has always maintained his innocence. He quickly lodged an appeal after his sentencing, claiming it was not possible for the jury to reach a guilty verdict on the evidence before them.

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