Judge's decision to ban Pac-Man & # 39; in focus of Pell's appeal offer


Pell's lawyers wanted to show him to the jury, but District Judge Peter Kidd dismissed the decision.


The 77-year-old wretched cardinal was found guilty of all five counts of abusing two 13-year-old boys at the cathedral in December 1996, and one of the boys again early next year.

Pell is in prison awaiting his March 13 sentence.

On December 5 last year, Pell's lawyer, Robert Richter, QC, had almost finished his closing address to the jury that was preparing to consider allegations of sexual assault against the cardinal.

Having made a power point presentation on the main points of defense, Richter wanted to play the 19-minute video.

Pell's lawyers hoped this would reinforce the argument that Pell did not sexually abuse two boys on a Sunday in December 1996, based on arguments that he was never left alone, he met parishioners on the front steps after Mass. We did not go unnoticed if they left a procession outside, and the sacristy – the room where Pell abused the boys – was busy after Mass.

The video, which Pell's legal team outsourced to the producers, featured colored dots coming in and out of the cathedral floor, each point representing the participants: from Pell to the organist to the altar servers and chorus players.

The sacrificial in St. Patrick's, the room where Pell abused the boys.

The sacrificial in St. Patrick's, the room where Pell abused the boys.Credit:Darrian Traynor

But after seeing the video, the prosecutors were worried that the jurors would subconsciously believe that it was a precise reconstruction and not a representation.

"It's as if a Pac-Man is moving around the cathedral," prosecutor Mark Gibson of SC told Judge Kidd while the jury was out of the room.

Judge Kidd declined to allow Richter to show the video, and Pell's lawyers plan to use that decision as one of three tips that appeal against the cardinal's conviction.

At the trial, Pell's lawyers argued that the movement of the points in the video correlated with the evidence of the witnesses.

Lawyers Ruth Shann and Robert Richter out of County Court last year.

Lawyers Ruth Shann and Robert Richter out of County Court last year.Credit:Jason South

Richter's colleague Ruth Shann said the video simply shows where witnesses said yes and defended their inclusion so that jurors could pictorially absorb what they were told.

"We are in the 21st century and communicating visually is helpful," Shann told the court.

"We want to leave no stone unturned in defense of the cardinal."

After consideration, Judge Kidd ruled that he would not be shown to the jury.

Evidence of people's movements was fluid, he said, while the video showed where people were "with such specificity" could be misleading. Where they were was a "quintessential question" for the jury.

Six days later, Pell, 77, was found guilty of all charges. He is now in prison awaiting sentence.

If you or someone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Service, Domestic and Family Violence Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or beyond 1300 224 636.

Adam Cooper joined The Age in 2011 after a decade on AAP, the country's news service. E-mail or tweet Adam with his news tips.

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