George Pell has managed to crack a smile during his Supreme Court of Appeal hearing in Melbourne which will determine his fate.
A rejuvenated Pell, who at his sentence in March looked tired and unwell, beamed as the strict nature of his old choir marshal Peter Finnigan was discussed in open court.
Mr Finnigan had been in charge of supervising the choristers when the disgraced Cardinal abused his young victims.
A relaxed Pell appeared to chuckle as Justice Chris Maxwell mused that he did not think the marshal was quite as strict as the choirboys had made out.
Sydney barrister Bret Walker SC - who is leading Pell's last-ditch appeal against his convictions - produced more grins from the Cardinal when he said he would hardly describe Mr Finnigan as 'Captain Bligh'.
Pell will leave the Supreme Court on Wednesday night with renewed confidence after a powerful performance by Mr Walker.
On Thursday, prosecutors will have their turn to tell the court why they think a County Court jury got it right when they convicted Pell of child sex offences.
In a day of drama, Mr Walker said it was beyond the 'law of physics' the disgraced Cardinal could have have abused young choirboys.
Mr Walker went immediately on the attack and did not let up all day.
He told the court his client couldn’t have sexually assaulted the boys in the sacristy if he was meeting parishioners at the western door of St Patrick’s Cathedral — adding that the distance was 'as good as being across the Tasman' in the eyes of the law.
'If he was at the western door then the law of physics means this is literally and logically impossible for the offending to have occurred,' he said.
Pell arrived at court wearing his traditional clerical garb after being transported from prison to the court for his appeal hearing.'
Read more: George Pell cracks a smile after a powerful performance by his defence team provides some hope of freedom: Jailed Cardinal's barrister says it is beyond the 'law of physics' he could have abused young choirboys
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