‘Angry’: Pell’s lawyer won’t lead appeal
THE defence lawyer for convicted Cardinal George Pell will not head the appeal against the guilty ruling, saying he was "angry" at the verdict.
Robert Richter, a high profile criminal defence QC, defended Pell against the case from the Department of Public Prosecutions, which saw the high profile Catholic charged with five offences against two teen choirboys.
Last week Pell was found guilty on all five counts.
"I am very angry about the verdict," Mr Richter told the Herald, "because it was perverse".
He said the case would be "better served by someone more detached".
"I think the man is an innocent man and he's been convicted. It's not a common experience," he said.
Mr Richter has been acting for Pell since he was first charged in 2017.
High-profile barrister Bret Walker SC will head Pell's appeal, according to The Herald Sun.
Mr Richter told The Sydney Morning Herald it was unusual for him to participate in appeals cases after he had lost a case. He has denied reports he will quit the legal team altogether.
Mr Richter made a number of arguments following the guilty verdict of his client, referring to the abused victims as "naughty boys" for drinking church wine in the lead up to being attacked.
He referred to the sexual penetration of the young teenager as "plain" and "vanilla".
Mr Richter went on to suggest that Pell should get a slap on the wrist because his sex crimes against two boys lasted "less than six minutes", there was "no ejaculation" and "no use of any implement".
His comments drew national outcry and Mr Richter was chased from the courtroom through the streets to his office. The attacks were condemned by Judge Kidd who referred to it as an "assault on the court".
Mr Richter issued an apology the following day, saying he had spent a sleepless night reflecting on the "terrible choice of phrase".
He referred to the case as a "long and stressful process".
"The seriousness of the crime was acknowledged at the outset by the concession that it merited imprisonment," the apology read.
"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."