Archbishop Philip Wilson will serve sentence as home detention

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Decision: Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson outside Newcastle Courthouse after he was sentenced to 12 months jail in July.
Nanjing Night Net

UPDATE 9.30AM

Archbishop Philip Wilson will serve his 12-month jail sentence as home detention for concealing the child sex crimes of a Hunter priest.

While the home detention will be at an undisclosed location, the court has previously heard he could serve the sentence at a relative’s home on the Central Coast.

Wilson will appeal his conviction but will start serving his sentence in the meantime, wearing a tracking device.

More to come.

Archbishop Philip Wilson to serve jail sentence as home detention.

— Joanne McCarthy (@joanne2mccarthy) August 13, 2018

EARLIER REPORT

CATHOLIC Archbishop Philip Wilson will learn today if he can serve his 12-month jail sentence as home detention for concealing the child sex crimes of a Hunter priest.

Wilson will appear in Newcastle Local Court before magistrate Robert Stone, who in May found the cleric guilty of failing to report allegations about priest Jim Fletcher to police between 2004 and 2006.

The archbishop became the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be convicted of concealing a priest’s child sex crimes.

Mr Stone today is expected to decide if Wilson can serve the minimum 6-month jail sentenceas home detention. The court was previously told he would spend home detention at his sister’s home on the Central Coast.

READ MORE:

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson found guiltyPope accepts resignation of archbishop Philip Wilson’Why don’t you call?’, said the abuse survivor to the PopeWilson, 67, offered his resignation to Pope Francis on July 20, two weeks after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and prominent Hunter Labor Catholic MP Joel Fitzgibbon backed survivor calls for his resignation.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation which was announced on July 30 with statements from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Wilson, who said he hoped the decision would lessen the “pain and distress” of survivors.

“Though my resignation was not requested, I made this decision because I have become increasingly worried at the growing level of hurt that my recent conviction has caused within the community,” Wilson said.

“I had hoped to defer this decision until after the appeal process had been completed. However, there is just too much pain and distress being caused by my maintaining the office of Archbishop of Adelaide, especially to the victims of Fr Fletcher.”

Resignation: Archbishop’s House in Adelaide where Philip Wilson was South Australia’s leading Catholic from his appointment in 2001 until his resignation on July 30.

In a statement, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said Wilson had “decided that his conviction means he can no longer continue as Archbishop because to do so would continue to cause pain and distress to many, especially to survivors and also in the Archdiocese of Adelaide”.

“While the judicial process will continue, Archbishop Wilson’s resignation is the next chapter in a heartbreaking story of people who were sexually abused at the hands of Jim Fletcher and whose lives were forever changed,” the statement read.

“This decision may bring some comfort to them despite the ongoing pain they bear.”

Wilson will lodge an appeal against his conviction today.

Wilson was born at Cessnock in 1950, ordained as a Maitland-Newcastle priest in 1975, and in 2000 became Australia’s youngest archbishop at the age of 50. He was madeArchbishop of Adelaide in February, 2001.

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