George Pell’s lawyer issues apology for ‘inappropriate’ comment
Robert Richter QC has issued an apology after referring to George Pell’s case as a “plain vanilla sexual penetration case” while representing him in court on Wednesday.
The comment left many people offended and outraged.
Richter released a statement on Thursday, saying he’d had a sleepless night as a result.
“It was not intended to evade the seriousness of what had been done,” he said.
THE FULL STATEMENT
After spending a sleepless night reflecting upon the terrible choice of a phrase I used in court during the course of a long and stressful process, I offer my sincerest apologies to all who were hurt or offended by it.
No offence was intended.
It was not intended to evade the seriousness of what had been done.
The seriousness of the crime was acknowledged at the outset by the concession that it merited imprisonment.
In seeking to mitigate sentence I used a wholly inappropriate phrase for which I apologise profusely to all who interpreted it in a way it was never intended: it was in no way meant to belittle or minimise the suffering and hurt of victims of sex abuse, and in retrospect I can see why it caused great offence to many.
I hope my apology is accepted as sincerely as it is meant and I will never repeat such carelessness in my choice of words which might offend.