Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced to one year for abuse cover-up

Archbishop sentenced for concealing child sexual abuse

Archbishop Philip Wilson spared jail, sentenced to 12 months home detention

Peter Gogarty, Advocate for victims of child abuse talks to the media outside Newcastle Local Court, in Newcastle after the sentencing of the Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, in Newcastle, Australia, 03 July 2018.

The sentencing of the Catholic archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, is a global landmark in the search for justice by victims of child sexual abuse.

"That left full-time jail or home detention and given Wilson's age, mental and physical conditions, and that he had nothing on his criminal record Mr Stone found he could be adequately punished with a 12-month home detention order".

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson arrives for sentencing at Newcastle Local Court in Newcastle, on Tuesday.

He said Wilson had no prior convictions and was a person of previous good character "with particular reference to the general field of prevention of child sexual abuse".

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

Another of Fletcher's victims, Daniel Feenan, would have preferred to see Wilson leave the court in handcuffs but hailed the magistrate's decision to impose a 12-month sentence.

Magistrate Robert Stone told Wilson the reason for his sentence was due to the "the criminality of the concealment" and recognizing the "harm done to the community".

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"We will continue to work with all those in the Church and beyond who are seeking to put in place strong and consistent standards of safeguarding throughout Australia, including how we respond to allegations of sexual abuse".

CNN understands from sources in Rome that Pope Francis will not ask Wilson, who has held his senior post for 18 years, to resign until it is decided if he will appeal.

In May, the 67-year-old was found guilty of concealing the sexual abuse of children between 2004 and 2006 at the hands of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the 1970s.

Mr Creigh was repeatedly abused by pedophile priest James Fletcher in the Hunter region during the 1970s. "So I am content that we've done something in Australia that nobody else has been able to manage". The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, offered an "unconditional" apology. Stone, however, said that protecting the Catholic Church was Father Wilson's "primary motive" for failing to report the abuse allegations.

"Survivors have been vital in helping us learn the lesson of our shameful history of abuse and concealment, which was laid bare in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and state inquiries, including the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry" in Newcastle in 2013.

During his trial, Wilson was accused by Prosecutor Gareth Harrison of being a "consummate Catholic politician" and a man who was part of "an entrenched toxic culture of covering things up".

The sentence was announced as Australia is trying to pass laws requiring priests to report child abuse they heard about in the confessional.

It said institutions including churches, schools and sports clubs had "seriously failed" to protect children.

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