Priest Ridsdale's Life and Offending

Daily Mail
May 26, 2015


1934 - Born May 20, St Arnaud, Victoria

Primary school St Aloysius, Redan

Secondary school St Patrick's College, Ballarat

1954-1958 - Studied for priesthood Corpus Christi College, Werribee. Began offending.

1958-1960 - Seminary, Collegio Brignole Sale, Genoa

1960-1961 - Seminary, All Hallows College, Dublin

1961 - July 25, ordained as priest at St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat

- Fills in at five parishes including Horsham, Inglewood, Camperdown and Ballarat North

1962-1964 - Assistant priest at Ballarat North

- First complaint in Ridsdale's first year as priest - boy from Villa Maria boarding school in Ballarat East

1964-1966 - Assistant priest Mildura

1966-1969 - Assistant priest Swan Hill

1970-1972 - Assistant priest Warrnambool

1972-1974 - Assistant priest Ballarat East

1974-1975 - Parish priest Apollo Bay. Puts in for transfer February 1975 after man tells him in a pub there's talk about him and kids.

1975 - Parish priest Inglewood. Leaves overnight after policeman complains has interfered with his son. Sent for counselling. Convictions for abusing nine children here; another two victims have contacted royal commission.

Early 1976 - Temporarily appointed to Bungaree

1976-1979 - Administrator then parish priest Edenhope. Convicted for abusing 13 children here; another 11 victims have contacted royal commission.

1980 - Study leave, National Pastoral Institute. Offended there.

1981-1982 - Parish priest Mortlake. Prolific offender. Replacement believes Ridsdale molested every boy aged 10-16 at the school.

1982 - Starts on-and-off counselling

1982-1985 - Catholic Enquiry Centre, Sydney. Within 12 months offends against boy from parish prayer group who became his altar boy. End of 1983 centre director says "I want him out of here".

Early 1986 - Short periods as Woy Woy assistant priest and Forestville administrator, both in then Sydney archdiocese

July 1986-May 1988 - Assistant priest Horsham

(August 1987 - Written complaint about offending while in Horsham)

April 1988 - Steps down from parish work

June 1988 - Priestly faculties suspended for 12 months

November 1989-September 1990 - Residential program at Jemez Springs centre in New Mexico. A document before commission says Ridsdale admitted to police he offended in USA.

March/April 1991 - Assistant priest St John of God Hospital, Richmond, NSW (role as a chaplain)

May 1993 - Admits indecently assaulting eight children. Now Cardinal George Pell and Father Adrian McInerney accompany to court. Sentenced to two years and three months, suspended after three months.

November 1993 - Laicised

August 1994 - Admits abusing 20 boys and one girl from 1961-1981. Held in custody

October 1994 - Jailed for 18 years (15-year minimum)

August 2006 - Sentenced to 13 years (seven-year minimum); admits abusing 10 boys from 1970-1987

April 2014 - Sentenced to eight years (five-year minimum); admits abusing 11 boys, three girls from 1961-1980

April 2019 - Eligible for parole, aged 84.








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