Andrew Bolt (Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts)

Forget the High Court. Forget the Victorian County Court and Court of Appeal.

George Pell couldn’t be guilty of child sex crimes because conservative News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt has ventured to the scene of the crime and concluded that this rape “could not possibly have happened”.

In a sensationalist spread in the Herald Sun newspaper yesterday — under the online headline “I walked the route of the ‘victim’. It couldn’t have happened” — Bolt says the attack by Pell on two boys in 1996 in a space of five to six minutes when they snuck into the priest’s sacristy after mass could not have happened.

Bolt timed himself walking from the cathedral to the sacristy in St Patrick’s Cathedral and concluded his stroll had given him greater insight than 12 jurors, two courts, and dozens of legal experts had during the trial; he said walking from the cathedral to the scarcity took him five-and-a-half minutes.

“That’s the maths. And it adds up to this: this rape could not possibly have happened,” Bolt writes, assuming his 60-year-old frame walked at the same pace of two young teens breaking the rules. “Did Victoria’s most senior judges make a terrible mistake in their maths when they ruled against Pell last month?” he asks.

Bolt has been a vocal supporter of Pell throughout the trial, writing op-ed after op-ed advocating for his innocence and raising questions about the trial. Journalist Lucie Morris-Marr, whose book about the Pell case has just been published, broke the story for the Herald Sun and has written about how her relationship with the paper turned sour over Bolt’s attacks on her reports.

Bolt’s “investigation” was nestled neatly next to a second column, where the columnist turns his rage to 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, along with women and, well, anyone upset at Australia’s climate policy. 

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey