Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson Launches Another Bid to Quash Charge of Child Abuse Cover-up
By David Marchese
March 4, 2016
|Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson is the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world charged with covering up child sexual abuse.|
A court has heard Adelaide's Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson is launching another bid to have a charge of concealing child sexual abuse thrown out.
Wilson is the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world charged with covering up child sexual abuse.
He has pleaded not guilty to concealing the serious indictable offence of another person.
The charge relates to when Wilson was an assistant parish priest in East Maitland in the Hunter Valley in the 1970s, and worked with the now-dead paedophile priest James Fletcher.
In March 2015, Wilson issued a statement denying the allegation.
"The suggestion appears to be that I failed to bring to the attention of police a conversation I am alleged to have had in 1976, when I was a junior priest, that a now-deceased priest had abused a child," Wilson said.
"I intend to vigorously defend my innocence through the judicial system and I have retained senior counsel, Mr Ian Temby AO, who will represent me in respect of it."
Wilson then applied for a permanent stay of proceedings to have the matter thrown out of court, but that was denied in February.
During the hearing for that application, the court was told the child sexual abuse cover-up charge laid against Wilson was invalid as there was no evidence the offence he is accused of concealing ever happened.
The crown asked to admit tendency evidence in a bid to show Wilson's alleged actions were not isolated.
Back in Newcastle Local Court today, Wilson's lawyer said he would be appealing against that decision.
He asked for an adjournment of several weeks to allow the appeal to take place, and requested that Wilson be excused from attending if legally represented.
That request was approved, and the matter will return to court on May 6.