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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Dirty Catholic paedo guilty of covering up child abuse

    Let's hope the lags make his life a fucking misery.

    Senior archbishop found guilty of child sex abuse cover up

    An Australian archbishop has become the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world to be found guilty of covering up child sex abuse. Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, 67, faces a potential two years in prison after being of convicted at Newcastle Local Court today.

    Magistrate Robert Stone said Wilson had failed to report allegations to police that colleague James Fletcher had abused two altar boys in the Hunter Valley Region, near Sydney, in the 1970s. Wilson, who had had pleaded not guilty to concealing a serious crime committed by another person, was released on bail until he appears at a sentencing hearing on June 9. In a statement issued by the Catholic Church, Wilson said he was disappointed by the conviction and is considering ‘the next steps’ with his lawyers.

    Prosecutor Gareth Harrison submitted that Wilson was involved in a cover-up to protect the church’s reputation. Wilson told the court last month he could not remember the altar boys telling him in 1976 they were abused by Fletcher.

    One of the altar boys Philip Creigh, described by the judge as a ‘truthful and reliable’ witness, can be named on his evidence but the second accuser cannot for legal reasons. The prosecution argued that Wilson failed to give details to police about a serious crime after Fletcher was arrested in 2004 and went on trial for preying on another boy. Fletcher was found guilty of nine counts of child sexual abuse and died in prison of a stroke in 2006 while serving an almost eight-year sentence.

    Mr Creigh told the court he had trusted that Wilson, then an assistant priest, would take action after he told him Fletcher had repeatedly abused him in 1971 when he was 10. He testified that the clergyman took no action and did not tell police.

    The other former altar boy said he was about 11 in 1976 when he went to confession and told Wilson that Fletcher had abused him. The witness told the court that Wilson refused to believe him because Fletcher ‘was a good bloke’. Wilson ordered the boy to get out of the confessional box and say 10 Hail Mary prayers as an act of contrition, the court was told. Former police detective chief inspector Peter Fox, who had previously made public allegations that the church had covered up Fletcher’s crimes, said outside court that he was ‘delighted’ by the verdict because someone in the church was being held to account. ‘It’s a major turning point. It’s been very difficult for so many of these witnesses; I can’t tell you how difficult it’s been,’ he said.
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