14 Aug 2018

Archbishop Philip Wilson gets home detention for sex abuse cover-up

12:48 pm on 14 August 2018

Former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson will serve his sentence for concealing historical child sex abuse in home detention.

Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson.

Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson. Photo: Supplied.

In July, Wilson was sentenced to a year's detention with six months' non-parole for covering up abuse by a paedophile priest in the New South Wales Hunter region in the 1970s.

Wilson is the world's most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of the offence.

He has spent the last few weeks on bail while he and his sister's home were assessed.

He will be eligible for parole on 13 February, 2019.

Wilson's lawyer told the court they intend to lodge an appeal application against the cleric's conviction today, but he did not apply for bail and will commence home detention today.

Wilson was found guilty of concealing the sexual abuse of children between 2004 and 2006 at the hands of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher.

When sentenced, Magistrate Robert Stone said there was "no remorse or contrition" showed by Wilson.

Mr Stone said protecting the Catholic Church was the archbishop's "primary motive".

"There are no other rational explanations for the offender's conduct."

However, Mr Stone said he accepted Archbishop Wilson was unlikely to reoffend.

Late last month, Pope Francis accepted Wilson's resignation as Adelaide archbishop after he faced intense pressure to step down.


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