"It's not enough." The emotional responses to George Pell's sentencing.

Just after 11am on Wednesday morning, Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.

Pell’s sentencing for sexually abusing two choirboys in 1996 was broadcast Australia-wide.

The maximum penalty for Pell’s crimes was 10 years, yet Chief Justice Peter Kidd said this was “not the diminutive factor of my sentence, nor is the maximum penalty the starting point for my sentencing exercise”.

Listen to Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright & Jessie Stephens unpack the Pell verdict on Mamamia Out Loud… Post continues after audio. 

Chief Judge Peter Kidd said Pell’s age – as a 77-year-old – as well as his “good character” was a factor in his sentencing.

The sentence, however, garnered strong reactions from the public, with many sharing their sense that six years, or what will likely be less than four, isn’t enough.





A disgraced Pell has spent two-weeks behind bars, after being found guilty by a jury in December of five child sex offences. He was initially bailed so he could get knee surgery in Sydney.

Pell continues to deny all of the allegations and has filed an appeal against his conviction. He didn’t testify in court. But Judge Kidd was given 10 character references, including from former Prime Minister John Howard.

For more on this topic:

“He was a different boy”. The family of one of George Pell’s victims share their heartbreak.

George Pell is not what a Catholic looks like.

George Pell’s lawyer said his client’s offence was a ‘vanilla’ sexual abuse case. There is no such thing.

What George Pell’s defenders cannot possibly know about his victim.

The telling words George Pell uttered 16 years ago that shocked members of his own church. 

“He was practically shouting.” Exactly how George Pell tried to ‘prove’ his innocence in court.