Australian archbishop’s child abuse cover-up conviction quashed
An Australian appeal court has overturned a conviction against the most senior Catholic cleric ever found guilty of covering up child sex abuse.
New South Wales state District Court Judge Roy Ellis on Thursday upheld former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson’s appeal against his May conviction for concealing the sexual abuse of two altar boys by a paedophile priest in the 1970s.
Mr Ellis found there is reasonable doubt that the 68-year-old cleric had committed the crime, which is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Mr Wilson has served almost four months of a year-long home detention sentence at his sister’s house outside Newcastle, New South Wales. He was to become eligible for parole after serving six months.
The judge also dismissed a prosecution appeal against the leniency of the sentence.
Photo: former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson heads to Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney.
SUBSCRIPTION OFFER: GET THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSE DIGITAL EDITION FREE FOR TWO MONTHS. TO SIGN UP VISIT www.thecatholicuniverse.comTags: appeal court, Australia, catholic, child abuse scandal, former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson