Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale likely to die in jail: Judge
Australia’s worst paedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, will spend more than 30 years behind bars after his fifth sentence for unprecedented offences against children was handed down today.
Ridsdale was expected to be a free man in 2019.
But he will now spend at least another three years behind bars, after receiving a further 11-year sentence for sexually abusing 12 more children between the 1960s and the 1980s.
Judge Irene Lawson said his appalling pattern of offending was quickly established after his ordination, when he started molesting altar boys and the children of devout Catholic families he had befriended.
He told the victims their “little secret” was part of God’s work, despite knowing full well the boundaries of offending within the church.
In one case, a victim’s own father brought his child to a Ballarat church where Gerald Ridsdale removed the child’s clothes and molested them on an altar.
The 83-year-old sat with his head bowed and his eyes closed for the entire hearing in the County Court today.
He has been behind bars for the past 23 years for child sex crimes.
He will be eligible for parole in April 2022, but the judge conceded it was likely Ridsdale will die in jail.