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Prisoner: Cell Block H actress convicted of child abuse

Veteran actress Maggie Kirkpatrick, who played a sadistic warden nicknamed "the Freak" in the cult Australian soap opera Prisoner: Cell Block H, has been convicted of molesting a 14-year-old psychiatric patient more than 30 years ago.

The series, set in a women's prison, ran from 1979 to 1986. It was known as Prisoner in Australia and Caged Women in other countries.

The 74-year-old was found guilty of all charges after a hearing at Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Kirkpatrick will be sentenced on Friday. It is not clear what punishment she could face.

The actress, whose character Joan "the Freak" Ferguson would molest inmates under the pretence of conducting body searches, had denied molesting the young fan in her home.

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