Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Catholic Abuse News - The Church Pays Up to Avoid a Court Case

Fr. Gerald Ridsdale.
Predatory paedophile who abused almost 70 schoolboys when chaplain to their Catholic boys school.
Gerald Ridsdale: Victorian man abused as schoolboy by paedophile priest given $1.5m settlement | Victoria | The Guardian

A man who cannot be named for legal reasons, a victim of the notorious, predatory paedophile Catholic priest, Gerald Ridsdale, has been given one of the largest amounts received to date, a A$1.5 million settlement on the eve of the court case in which he was claiming compensation for the abuses he received from Ridsdale and two Catholic teachers at his school in the Catholic dioceses of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

Ridsdale was sentence in 1994, initially to 12 months in prison for abusing 9 boys, but this was extended as more victims came forward. By 2006, he had pleaded guilty to 54 more child victims and his sentence was extended so he would not be eligible for parole until 2019.

Since then, a further batch of 23 additional charges have been brought against him, bringing his total number of victims to 65, and he will now not be eligible for parole untill 2022, Judge Irene Lawson deciding that even at the age of 83 he still posed a threat to the community.

Catholic defendants have to be dragged to the door of the court before they offer appropriate amounts of compensation, and this matter was resolved in the shadow of a trial due to start in the next few days.

Dr Viv Waller
Victim's Lawyer
At the time of the offences against the unnamed man, Ridsdale was a priest in the Ballarat diocese and lived in the presbytery next to St Alipius Boys’ School, where he also served as the school’s chaplain. The then schoolboy was also abused by two Christian Brother teachers at the school, Gerald Leo Fitzgerald and Stephen Farrell. Fitzgerald died while under investigation and Farrell was sentenced to 18 months in 2018.

In 2015, the victim gave evidence to the Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse under a code name. He told the Commission about being abused on fishing trips and the terror he felt each day as the class waited to see which boy Fitzgerald would choose to be abused at the back of the class.

The victim's lawyer, Dr Viv Waller, is convinced this amount would not have been offered without the threat of a court case.

Yet another example of how:
Religion provides excuses for people who need excuses.

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