Notorious paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale has served enough time in prison, his Legal Aid defence lawyer says.
The claim comes despite Ridsdale admitting this week that he sexually abused 12 more children while a priest in regional Victoria.
The 83-year-old has now pleaded guilty over the course of five court cases to abusing 64 children.
He has been in jail since 1994, serving an effective total sentence of 28 years.
On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to 23 charges, including rape and buggery, for sexual assaults against 11 boys and a girl between 1962 and 1988 while he was a priest in Ballarat, Mildura, Horsham, Edenhope and other locations.
County Court judge Irene Lawson must now decide whether to add to Ridsdale's existing sentence, under which his earliest possible release would be April 2019, when he will be eligible for parole. If he served his current full term he would be due for release in 2022.
Defence counsel Tim Marsh has urged Judge Lawson not to increase Ridsdale's sentence, as he would have been unlikely to have been jailed for more than 28 years had the offences all been heard together in 1994.
Mr Marsh, the chief counsel for Victoria Legal Aid, on Wednesday said the time had come for a court to rule that Ridsdale had served enough time in prison.
'This man has served enough time'
"At some point a court will need to say this man has served enough time in prison," Mr Marsh said. "I say that time is now."
However, prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams questioned whether Ridsdale was remorseful, as he had never confessed to any other crimes, which would have brought further cases to court sooner.
Mr Marsh said Ridsdale no longer posed the threat he once did to the community because of his age and ill-health, and that even if released he would be under strict supervision.
But Mr McWilliams said the scale of Ridsdale's offending - against 64 victims and on more than 120 counts over three decades - was "unprecedented" and "demands an unprecedented sentence."
"It is hard to imagine a man who has had a more devastating effect on those who have had the misfortune of coming into contact with him," Mr McWilliams said.
"He has preyed upon the most vulnerable of the vulnerable, seeking out victims for whom their families are already in trauma and tragedy, and using that trauma and tragedy to advance his own criminal pursuits of gratification among children."
Offending the 'worst of its kind': judge
Judge Lawson said the offending was the worst of its kind to have been dealt with by a Victorian court.
She rebutted Mr Marsh when he said the scale of Ridsdale's offending was unlikely to be see again.
"Having sat in this seat for 16 years I would never say that," Judge Lawson said.
Ridsdale, who needed a walking frame to make his way into the dock, kept his head bowed for most of his plea hearing, and at times raised his hands to his head when victims told court of the devastation he caused them and their families.
In 2015 Ridsdale told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was sexually abused as a child, and that the Catholic Church never put any restrictions on him despite complaints about his sexual offending.
He was ordained a priest in 1961 and was regularly shifted between parishes across western Victoria over the following years.
The royal commission heard it was unclear how many children he sexually abused.
Judge Lawson will sentence him on August 31.
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