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Cardinal George Pell has been remanded in custody. Tonight he will spend his first night behind bars.

Cardinal George Pell has been remanded in custody.

Pell, who has been convicted of sexually abusing two choirboys in 1996, will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing on March 13.

The news comes after Pell’s scheduled bail application in the Victorian Court of Appeal was revoked.

The 77-year-old was due to face a bail hearing at 2.30pm, having lodged an appeal, but the court said that this would no longer go ahead.

LISTEN: We chat to Lucie Morris-Marr, the journalist who broke the story in 2016 and has been following the case ever since.

Prosecutors earlier said Pell had no remorse for or insight into his crimes and called for his immediate imprisonment.

Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic has been convicted of five child sex offences, committed in 1996 against the two 13-year-olds.

“The prisoner has shown no remorse or insight into his offending,” Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Gibson SC told the County Court.

“There remains no explanation for this offending.”

Chief Judge Peter Kidd has questioned what Pell was thinking when he attacked the boys.

“What I want to address is what he was thinking at the time, what motivated him and why he did this in such brazen circumstances,” he told Mr Gibson.

The prosecutor could give no explanation but said: “He at least thought he was going to get away with it.”

Cardinal-George-Pell-to-stand-trial
Cardinal George Pell at Melbourne Magistrates Court in 2018. Image: AAP
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Mr Gibson said Pell, as archbishop of Melbourne at the time, was in a position of power and the offences were a breach of trust.

"There's an unlikelihood of him being questioned because of his position of power," he said.

Mr Gibson finished by saying Pell's crimes warranted immediate imprisonment.

Judge Kidd said he regarded Pell's prospects of rehabilitation as very good and believed he was unlikely to reoffend, in part because of his age.

Pell, who is physically ailing, was swamped by a crowd of protesters and journalists as he arrived at the County Court on Wednesday morning.

There were cries of "you're filth" and "go to hell" as the 77-year-old pushed through the gauntlet of vocal protesters, shepherded by police into the building.

In the packed courtroom, Pell sat in the dock flanked by three guards and wearing his customary clerical collar and beige blazer.

Lawyer Robert Richter QC did not object to a compulsory forensic sample being taken from his client, who will also be registered as a serious sex offender.

He will make arguments on Pell's behalf as the plea hearing continues.

Lawyers for Pell, who maintains his innocence, have lodged an application for leave to appeal on three grounds, including that the jury verdict was unreasonable.

Pell was found guilty in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and molesting another at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne.

The news was made public in Australia on Tuesday when a gag order was lifted, sending shockwaves across the world and through the Catholic church.

The historical offences each carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

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