Survivors handed a life sentence by the church

John Fitzgibbon this week: ‘The dark days still come’.
Picture: Carmel Zaccone

John Fitzgibbon this week: ‘The dark days still come’. Picture: Carmel Zaccone

John Fitzgibbon described the six-year jail sentence to Cardinal George Pell this week for child sex offences as a ‘kick in the guts’ to himself and fellow survivors who were left with lifelong sentences after abuse by paedophile priests. Ashee Falvo listened to his story.

JOHN Fitzgibbon was told he was a “naughty boy” before a nun dragged by his ear to see Monsignor John Day. It was the start of three years of systematic, heinous abuse at the hands of Day, handing Mr Fitzgibbon a lifelong sentence – the effects of which he has never truly ­recovered.

Mr Fitzgibbon, now 70, was one of many victims during an abhorrent and horrific chapter in Mildura’s history – a chapter that started in the 1950s when Catholic priest Day was appointed to the Mildura parish.

Some believe Mildura was chosen as the new home for the known paedophile priest in a bid to keep his crimes “off the radar”.

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