The father of one of the boys molested by George Pell has announced he will sue the cardinal or Catholic Church following the death of his son.
The boy was a 13-year-old chorister when he was molested by Pell at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 following Sunday solemn mass.
The boy never told his parents about the abuse, but died in 2014 of a heroin overdose when he was aged 30.
Now, given the guilty verdict – made public on Tuesday following the lifting of court gag orders – the boy’s father says Pell “has blood on his hands”.
Shine Lawyers’ head of specialist personal injury, Lisa Flynn, said she believed the boy had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression following the sex attack.
She said the boy turned to drug use when he was 14 and his father only learnt of Pell’s abuse “some time” after his death.
“We believe his death is directly linked to those conditions that he suffered as a a result of the abuse,” Ms Flynn said.
“(He) suffered such extreme depression that he overdosed on drugs to numb his severe PTSD as a result of his pain.
“His father will allege that Pell has blood on his hands.”
Ms Flynn said the Catholic Church or Pell individually could be pursued in civil action.
“So far we’ve been instructed to investigate a potential claim. It could be either or both of those that would be named as defendants,” she says.
Ms Flynn said the law firm was waiting for Pell’s criminal matters to be finalised before filing a civil claim.
If this story has caused you distress, help is available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue 1300 22 4636