Australian archbishop sentenced to year’s detention for child sex abuse cover-up

Archbishop Philip Wilson is most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime

Archbishop Philip Wilson (Source: news.com.au)
Archbishop Philip Wilson (Source: news.com.au)

An Australian Catholic archbishop has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention after he was found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Philip Wilson, who is now archbishop of Adelaide, is reportedly the most senior Catholic in the world to ever be convicted of such a crime.

Wilson, who was found guilty last month of hiding the sexual abuse by pedophile priests in New South Wales, was today ordered by the court to be assessed for “home detention”, which likely means he will not go to prison.

Despite having relinquished his duties after being convicted, Wilson has not stepped down as archbishop.

Magistrate Robert Stone, who handed down the sentence, said the archbishop, who will be eligible for parole in six months, showed “no remorse or contrition”.

The Magistrate in May ruled that Wilson had failed to report his colleague, parish priest James Patrick Fletcher, to the police for having abused altar boys of the course of many years.

The court had found that Wilson, who was at the time a junior priest, had disregarded young victims in an effort to protect the Church’s reputation.

Fletcher, who had been convicted of nine charges of sexual abuse in 2004, died in prison two year after.

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