Foreign Affairs
Australian Court annuls sentence which had found former Archbishop Wilson guilty of concealing sexual abuse on children

The Court of Appeal has annulled a sentence in which a former Bishop in Australia, 68-year-old Phillip Wilson, had been found guilty of concealing child abuse.

Sitting in New South Wales, Mr Justice Ellis stated that several doubts existed regarding the sentence in which Wilson had been found guilty of concealing a case of sexual abuse going back to the seventies.

Wilson is the oldest cleric so far to be found guilty of these abuses which involve altar boys who had served in the Church in New South Wales. These children had been abused by James Fletcher, a priest who had been a colleague of Archbishop Wilson and who had been found guilty in 2004 of having abused of nine children. Fletcher had died in prison two years later.

Wilson had always denied he was aware that Fletcher had abused the children. He had appealed the sentence handed down in May.

During the hearing at which Wilson had been found guilty, Magistrate Robert Stone had stated that Wilson had remained silent to protect the reputation of the Church. Judge Ellis stated, however, that Wilson had been honest and consistent in his testimony.

Wilson had resigned from Archbishop in July.

See also:

AĠĠORNAT: Il-Qorti ssib l-Arċisqof Wilson ħati li ħeba abbużi sesswali fuq tfal

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