George Pell’s new prison gig revealed
The disgraced cardinal has been anointed the new gardener of Melbourne Assessment Prison.
It's his first job since being locked up eight months ago.
Pell, 78, spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement at the maximum security prison in West Melbourne.
A prison insider told the Herald Sun he recently asked for a job to break up his days.
This week he started his new gig tending to the garden in the 'visitors yard'.
The convicted paedophile is required to weed the garden and hose the native trees and plants about twice a week.
He gets paid about $10 a week in return.
"He wanted a job so this is what he got," said the prison source.
"It's paid so it's an opportunity for him to get some canteen money."
Pell completes his new job in isolation from other inmates during the single hour he gets outside his cell each day.
"It takes him about 20 - 30 minutes to do," said the source.
"He's doing alright (at the job)."
The garden is located within a red brick courtyard about 10 x 15 metres in size in the southwest corner of the prison.
It includes various native trees and shrubs which surround tables and chairs and a gazebo used by prisoners.
Pell's new prison gig is a far cry from his former role as Vatican treasurer and Australia's most high-ranking Catholic.
He was jailed for a minimum of three years and eight months after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty of sexual offending against two choirboys at St Patrick's cathedral in the 1990s.
Pell is fighting to overturn the conviction and has lodged an application with the High Court seeking special leave to appeal.
His legal team has accused the Victoria's top prosecutor of failing to properly respond to his High Court appeal bid.
Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd, QC, previously argued there was no basis for a High Court challenge and that there was "no error" in the approach taken by the Court of Appeal.
Pell has been in protective custody at Melbourne Assessment Prison since February.
He has spent time caged between cells occupied by notorious Bourke St killer James Gargasoulas and brothers Ertunc and Samed Eriklioglu, who are accused by police of plotting a mass terrorist attack in Melbourne.