Former Priest's Jail Time Increased

ABC [Australia]
August 11, 2006

A former Victorian priest, in prison for the sexual assault of young boys, has been given more jail time.

Gerald Francis Ridsdale, 72, was sentenced to 18 years' jail in 1993.

Since then 10 more victims have come forward resulting in 35 new charges of indecent assault, gross indecency and sexual assault.

All offences occurred in the 1970s and 80s in parts of western Victoria.

In the County Court in Ballarat today Ridsdale was sentenced to an extra 13 years' jail, but with overlap with his current sentence it will result in only four extra years in prison.

In sentencing, Judge White said Ridsdale's crimes were horrific and degrading and the Catholic Church should not escape criticism for his actions.

One of Ridsdale's victims, who was sitting in court, called out to him, "Don't worry about this judge, it's the one in the next life you have to worry about".

The victim then told Ridsdale to "burn in hell".

Part of Ridsdale's new sentence will be served concurrently with the penalty handed down in 1994, which means he could be released by 2013.


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