Archbishop Philip Wilson Sentenced To 12 Months' Detention For Covering Up Child Abuse

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Archbishop Philip Wilson Sentenced To 12 Months' Detention For Covering Up Child Abuse

The most senior Catholic official in the world to be convicted of concealing child sex abuse is likely to be spared jail by a NSW magistrate.

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson was found guilty in May of failing to report to police the abuse of two altar boys by a pedophile priest in the 1970s.

Magistrate Robert Stone in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday sentenced the 67-year-old to 12 months' imprisonment with a non-parole period of six months.

However, he ordered that Wilson be assessed for an intensive corrections order which would allow him to serve his sentence in the community.

 

Wilson's offence related to the 2004 to 2006 period, when Fletcher had been charged with child sex offences and the magistrate found Wilson had obtained the level of belief needed to report what he knew to authorities.

Wilson, who is potentially suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, told his landmark magistrate-only trial that he couldn't remember being told about the abuse.

Wilson agreed under cross-examination that he would have been horrified and would remember the discussion.

But the magistrate rejected Wilson's claims, suggesting the clergyman knew "what he was hearing was a credible allegation".

"In addition, the accused wanted to protect the church and its image," Mr Stone said when convicting Wilson.

 

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