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Monique Patterson

The Boy in the Presbytery: Paul Levey's brave battle to End the Silence

The Boy in the Presbytery: Paul Levey's brave battle to End the Silence

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When a priest promised Anne Levey he would help put her young son Paul back on the straight and narrow, she thought her prayers had been answered. Little did she know the reason her 12-year-old son was rebelling was because the priest—Gerald Ridsdale—was sexually abusing him. But the predator—who had offended before—used the woman’s blind faith in the Catholic Church to his advantage. Paul was sent to live with his abuser in the Mortlake presbytery. There he was sexually abused by the priest almost every day for about a year. Years later this secret that haunted Paul’s every waking minute was revealed. But if he thought his nightmare was over, he was wrong. Paul would go on to find out that many high-ranking leaders in the Catholic Church knew Ridsdale was a child molester, and yet they did nothing to stop the evil man from snatching Paul’s innocence and turning his life into a living hell. Sadly, it was a story all too common—the Catholic Church became a playground for paedophiles, a safe haven for them to commit atrocious acts. Now Paul is sharing his story in a bid to end the silence.


On Page 17 there is a factual error. In the second paragraph it should say Paul and other survivors found out that Edward had indecently assaulted a young boy and that Edward pled guilty and was given a 12-month good behaviour bond.

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