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China v West Indies: Curtly Ambrose reads riot act to team before first Test

The unmistakeable, terrifying stare aimed at so many batsmen over the years has been turned on the West Indies themselves.

Curtly Ambrose, one of the most fearsome fast bowlers ever to grace a cricket ground, mostly has the stereotypical appearance of the gentle giant these days as he accompanies the now struggling Test nation around the globe as their bowling consultant.

However, after an embarrassing first-up loss to a green Cricket XI to begin this tour, Ambrose has turned up the heat on his underperforming side – as well as those predicting they don’t stand a chance in the series starting on Thursday.

“We had a meeting, we had a talk about it and I explained to the guys in no uncertain terms that that’s unacceptable and if we’re going to struggle against an under-19 team, how do we expect to compete against a strong n line-up?” Ambrose said on Tuesday.

“But we had a good meeting. Coach Phil Simmons called a meeting and we talked about a lot of things and I expect that going forward, what’s gone already cannot be changed. So we’ve got to stay focused and move forward.”

The tourists’ hopes for a green Hobart wicket improved on Tuesday as rain fell most of the day and the covers remained on the wicket at Blundstone Arena.

The likes of Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel have to deal with the largely slow, unresponsive pitches prepared in the Caribbean when they’re at home and are understandably more excited about the prospect of a more lively surface in Tasmania. Ambrose believes they have listened to him and taken on board his advice not to fall into the trap of straying too short here.

“Well, I am bigger than most of them so they have to,” he joked. “Since I have joined the team, it took me a little while to really get them to bind to my concept. Of course it wouldn’t change overnight.

“But I must say in recent times I have seen some improvement. They are much more patient, that was one of my problems, they are not a patient bunch. But I have seen some patience in recent times and the areas that they bowl has been more consistent, so I believe once we continue to do those things we are going to be OK.”

After a career in which he featured in an extraordinary period of West Indian dominance spanning two decades, their station in the world game these days does not sit well with Ambrose. He is a realist but believes there are weaknesses in the n line-up to be exploited – the middle order for starters – and maintains the Windies are not simply here to be competitive.

The public panning of them as likely cannon fodder for – one betting agency released a market on Tuesday placing Steve Smith and David Warner at $6 to outscore the West Indian team – only gave them added motivation, he said.

“You as reporters have go to report what you see, so I’ve learnt over the years to, I won’t say ignore, but know what to take from the reports and what not to take,”  Ambrose said.

“But we’re going to be focused, we’re not going to worry about what has been said about us not being a good team or not going to compete, games being over in three days and all that kind of stuff. We’re going to take them and turn them into positives.

“At the end of the day when we perform and beat , then the reporters will have to change their tune. We’re going to do much better than you think.”

Classic rock band Dragon hit the road in 2016 to celebrate the Countdown years

Dragon’s The Countdown Years tour appears at Caves Beach Hotel on April 22. The band plays two regular shows at Lizotte’s on December 18-19.THE year is 1975.

Todd Hunter and his brother Marc have left their hometown of Auckland to seeksuccess across the ditch, setting up new lives in Sydney where they have dreams of putting their band,Dragon, on the map.

“When we first got over here, Skyhooks were happening,” Todd Hunter recalled.

“We had a little house at the back of Grace Bros[department store] in Bondi Junction and we’d walk past and there’d be Skyhooks standing on the loading docks signing autographs. We’d go ‘You wait, you guys. We’re gonna get there one day’.”

Thatopportunity arrived when the band had an offer to perform on ABC music program, Countdown.

The bandmade itsdebut on the show with the song,Star Kissed, and the appearancewas the first of many the band would make on the program over the next 13 years.

“It was incredibly exciting. It was like ‘Wow – TV!’,” Hunter laughed.

“You would sing live and mime your instrument parts, so we were always acting up and playing stupid stuff.

“We were misbehaving in the best Spinal Tap fashion you could imagine.

“The ridiculous thing was that as soon as you were on Countdown, your whole world changed.”

After that first performance, Dragon noticed a shift as they began bookingmore gigs and filled bigger halls.

“It was a phenomenal thing for n music,” Hunter says.“It started so many careers.”

Dragon, which these daysfeatures Hunter (bass, vocals) alongsideMark Williams (vocals),Bruce Reid (guitar) andPete Drummond (drums) following the death of original frontman Marc Hunter in 1998, are celebrating the Countdown years on a national tour next year.

The show will be split intwo parts, with the first featuring covers of from the Countdown era (Sherbert’sSummer Love, Rose Tattoo’sBad Boyand JPY’sYesterday’s Hero) followed by Dragon’s own classics (April Sun in Cuba, Rain,Are You Old Enough).

Third survivor says George Pell rejected them after clergy abuse claims

A third survivor has accused Cardinal George Pell of rejecting them after they told him of children who were abused by Catholic clergy.

The man, referred to as BWF, told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday he had sought out then-Father George Pell in 1973 when he was 14, after learning his little brother, known as BWG, had been physically and sexually abused by former Christian Brother Ted Dowlan at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat.

BWF had discovered that his brother had been sent to a doctor because an attack from Dowlan had left his legs and buttocks severely bruised. He assumed at the time that he had also been sexually assaulted because Dowlan’s abusive behaviour was then common knowledge among students.

Dowlan is currently serving a minimum of three years in jail for abusing 20 young boys.

The boarding school’s principal had not met his requests to speak about the alleged abuse in his dormitory, so BWF turned to Cardinal Pell, who was then a “well-known influential priest in the area,” he said.  “I wanted someone of authority outside of the school to know about what was happening there and someone who would be able to do something about it.”

He found Cardinal Pell at the presbytery of St Patrick’s Cathedral, where he “blurted out” that Dowlan had abused his brother and demanded to know what he would do about it. “Pell became angry and yelled at me, ‘Young man how dare you knock on this door and make demands?'” he said.

They argued for some time, BWF said, before Cardinal Pell told him to go away and shut the door, he said.

Cardinal Pell’s lawyer, Sam Duggan, hit back: “I want to suggest to you that you are making this story up about visiting Father Pell at the cathedral presbytery and you never confronted him there.”

Mr Duggan argued Cardinal Pell was not then living at the presbytery and would not have been there at the time their exchange allegedly took place.

This follows testimony from survivors who have told the commission that Cardinal Pell respectively dismissed and tried to bribe them after they raised clergy abuse with him.

Timothy Green has said that Cardinal Pell responded, “Don’t be so ridiculous”, and left the room after he approached him about widespread abuse at St Patrick’s College by Dowlan in 1974.

Mr Duggan suggested on Monday that Cardinal Pell had not heard Mr Green properly as his back was to him when the conversation took place.

David Ridsdale also said Cardinal Pell had tried to bribe him in 1993 after he told him he had been abused by his uncle Gerald Ridsdale, which Mr Duggan argued arose out of a “misunderstanding” between the pair.

Mr Duggan attempted to raise BWF’s criminal history, saying “this is an offence of dishonesty or deception and therefore it is relevant” and that it went to his credibility and character.

Chairman of the Commission Justice Peter McClellan replied: “You’ve got real difficulties saying it goes to credit in this hearing.”

Justice McClellan said the commissioners would decide at a later date whether sentencing remarks about BWF could assist and if they should be suppressed.

The hearing continues.

Privatising Newcastle’s public transport services ‘a joke’, says council and unions

ON THE BUSES: Newcastle council has moved to oppose state government plans to privatise the city’s public transport services.STATE government plans to privatise the city’spublic transport services have come under heavy fire from Newcastle council which has voted to oppose any such move.

Labor and the Greens used their numbers at Tuesday night’s council meeting to support moves for a locally-based Hunter Transport Authority,and to also support the public ownership, maintenance and operation of the city’s trains, buses, ferries, interchanges and light rail.

The government’s recent announcement to privatise remaining operations was described as “a terrible joke” by Labor councillor and Newcastle state MP Tim Crakanthorp.

Greens councillor Michael Osborne said the state government “wasn’t listening to what the people wanted”.

“When they come to Newcastle, all they seem to do is look around and see what they can sell off,” he said.

His Greens colleague ThereseDoyle said the city deserved a “proper light rail network and not some Tonka toy version” of it.

“It’s not your public transport system to sell off, Mr Baird,” she said. “It’s ours.”

The move by Labor and the Greens was opposed by the council’s Liberalsand independents.

The move essentially calls for any Hunter Transport Authority to be based in the region and “not in Singapore or Hong Kong” or even Sydney, Mr Crakanthorp said.

It also urged the state government to work with the council on building an integrated transport plan for the city, opposed any privatisation, and in the event that services were puton the open market, that Newcastle Buses and Ferries be allowed to tender alongside any private operator.

Hunter Unions secretary Daniel Wallace welcomed the move, saying the state government needed to listen.

“We’re now in a situation where both local councils have openly supported keeping our transport in public hands,” Mr Wallace said. “The [government] has a responsibility to listen to the needs of the community before it starts making changes that will impact local workers and residents.”

Cricket China director Tony Harrison lashes out at Canberra’s bid to poach Test

Canberra’s bid to poach Test cricket from Hobart has come under fire from Tasmania’s Cricket director, who claims the island state is competing against “fat cat bureaucrats” and a mentality inside CA headquarters that places money ahead of what is good for the game.

Officials in Hobart are on edge ahead of the city’s first Test in three years and first since a redevelopment of Blundstone Arena amid projections of disappointing crowds to witness the first Test against the West Indies from Thursday.

Manuka Oval, meanwhile, is waiting in the wings to take advantage in an effort to be awarded a first-ever Test on the six-match program next summer.

ACT Cricket chief executive Cameron French told Fairfax Media last week CA needed to consider whether the Canberra community would support a Test match – “the answer is a resounding yes” – after successful one-day internationals, a World Cup match and a Big Bash League final there.

Their push, backed by the ACT government, is being seen in Hobart as a campaign that is in contravention of CA’s internal “One Team” policy, and CA’s Tasmania-based director Tony Harrison lashed out at the nation’s capital in an interview with ABC Grandstand.

“I have read comments like ‘we deserve the Test, Hobart doesn’t’ kind of thing, I don’t think that’s helpful,” Harrison told the ABC.

“We are going through a process in n cricket at the moment called One Team, which is the states and Cricket all acting as one, and what has disturbed me most out of Canberra is that it is hardly ‘one team’ behaviour.

“We [CA] spent a lot of money and effort getting this One Team thing going, and here instantly we have an issue … I think that is disappointing.”

Harrison was formerly chairman of Cricket Tasmania as well as a CA director but vacated the chairmanship recently to retain a spot on the nine-member CA board as part of the organisation’s transition away from state representatives to independents.

The public relations guru continues to support his home state, though, offering a reminder that Cricket Tasmania was one of six owners of CA and ACT Cricket was not, and revealed divisions within head office over the subject.

“There are certainly people in Cricket management who don’t necessarily look at it from a cricket perspective; they look at it from the dollars and cents perspective. But that’s why we have a board of directors,” Harrison said.

“The workers of Tasmania are competing with the fat cat bureaucrats in Canberra who have the highest disposable income in .”

Tasmanians will now have a chance to vote with their feet from Thursday. Ticket prices have been cut by 30 per cent, a giant billboard sits over the main street imploring people not to be “a Daryl” (a Daryl being, according to the advertising campaign, someone who makes an excuse not to go to the cricket) and 2500 school children are being brought to the ground by bus to prop up the crowd over the first two days.

How the local population responds to the call to arms to save their Test is yet to be seen.

“The thing that has distressed me most is the talking down of the West Indies, which sends a very poor message to the Tasmanian public,” Harrison said. “I’ve been very disappointed by the comments of former cricketers who have made a lot of money out of cricket.”

Government seeks interest in Glendale housing development

Family and Community Services is seeking market interest in developing a high-profile Glendalesitefor affordable housing.

NEW HOMES: The Crossroads corner site at 355 Lake Road and 537-541 Main Road, Glendale.

LOVELY LOVEDALE: The Leaves & Fishes property includes a manager’s residence and a restaurant.

Under the Communities Plus program, the State Government plans to build medium and high-density private housing at the Crossroads corner site,355 Lake Road and 537-541 Main Road.

With a transport interchange and more retail development set to be part of Glendale’s future, the site fits the Government’s Communities Plus strategy of developing sustainable communities with good access to transport, shopping, services, education andjobs.

The EOI aims to identifypotential development partners from the private and non-government sector, including community housing providers. For information visittenders.nsw.gov.au

Fancy fishingLuxury Lovedale retreat Leaves & Fishes is for sale by expression of interest.

The eight-hectareproperty is a popular venue for weddings and includes a restaurant and accommodation.There is a residence for the owners anda separate building used for weddings and other special events.

The manager’s residence has anopen-plan living area and kitchen, two large bedrooms with main size bathrooms attached to both. The bathrooms have stone bathtubs, marble tiling and vanities. It has a third powder room and shower suitable for disabled access.

The ‘boathouses’ accommodation includes four boutique private pavilions overlooking the dam.

The restaurant seats 20 outside and 60 inside and has a commercial kitchen andcool room. The function centre seats 120 formally or up to 300 people for cocktail-style gatherings.

LILY PADS: The business’s accommodation – four private pavilions overlooking the dam.

There is a storage and retail areaandthe property has a permitfor intensive land-based aquaculture. The property is listed with Distinctive Properties.

Ryan Kitto keen to mirror game of injured Jets Brazilian Leonardo

LEARNING FAST: Ryan Kitto stretches after Jets training at Ray Watt Oval on Tuesday. Picture: Simone De Peak

RYAN Kitto is not Leonardo.

But 21-year-old Jets attacker is doing everything he can toadd bits of the Brazilian’s game to his own.

KEY MAN: Leonardo

Kitto, signed as an injury replacement for Labinot Haliti three weeks ago, made his starting debut as a No.10in the 1-0 loss to Sydney FC.

Leonardois battling an on-going knee problem and is not certain to be fit for the visit by Melbourne City on Sunday.

“Just watching Leonardo has been fantastic for me,” Kitto said.

“I am a different type of playerbut there are parts of his game that I want to take on board.

“We do video analysis every week, and for me to watch his movement and see how he goes about his football. It’s fantastic for a young player like me to learn from.

“His penetration, how he wants to go forward.He turns and gets himself in good positions and how he runs at the back four. Ican take a lot from the positions he takes up on the pitch.

“If I canstart producing half as good as he does it would be pretty good.”

Kittowas picked up by theJets after an outstanding season for West Torrensin the South n National Premier League.

He scored 17 goals despite splitting his time between playing No.10 and a wider role.

“I’m pretty flexible in the front third,” Kitto said.

“It’s about me understanding the tactical role.Hopefully I can start making an impact and we can get start getting results.

“Against Sydney,I thought I worked hard but I’m still understanding what Scott and JP want tactically.

“I know I need to improve andneed to be smarter on and off the ball. I ran a bit too much last week. I need to take up better positions, similar to how Leonardo does.”

​Leonardo again worked in the rehabilitation room on Tuesday.

“It will be great when we get him on the training track and I can learn from him out here as well,” Kitto said.

Skipper Nigel Boogaardreturned to the training pitch after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.

He and Daniel Mullen, who is recovering well from knee surgery, did a plyometrics and agility session.

“You want your best players out there every week, and Boogs is one of our best players,” Kitto said.

“Hopefully he is fit and ready to go, and can have a big influence on this weekend’sresult.”

Although new to the Jets, Kitto played the 2013-14 season with Adelaidealongside Boogaard and Cameron Watson.

“I know my body can handle the work load,” he said.

“It is just a matter of getting sharp again.”

Ryan Harris: West Indies bowlers dangerous, but Darren Bravo needs to lead their batsmen

I was fortunate that the majority of my 27 Tests were in key series, against England and South Africa. To have taken a lot of my wickets against the likes of A.B. de Villiers, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen was very satisfying.

I was also proud to remove the likes of Tharanga Paranavitana, Adrian Barath and Mohammed Shami. Why? Because a Test wicket is a Test wicket no matter the profile of the batsman. I cherished every Test I played; we all did. The current ns still do.

That is why I’m sure the gloomy predictions about the West Indies in this Test series being made by the media will not be replicated in ‘s dressing room.

This is partly philosophical: the moment you take your opposition for granted you’re inviting things to go pear-shaped. Yes, you’ve got people saying it’s the worst West Indies side in a long time, and focusing on how they lost to the boys in the CA XI. But you only need one of two of their players to come off to put you under the pump.

The other reason will be wary is practical: the way the West Indies performed when they hosted us before the Ashes. I know it doesn’t look like it from the scorecards but they gave us a good run for our money, put us under the pump a couple of times. If it wasn’t for a couple of key innings at vital times, such as Adam Voges’ century in the first innings in Dominica and Steve Smith’s 199 in Jamaica, they could’ve run through us.

We are expected to win and the even though guys will be thinking that in the back of their minds, they’ll also know it won’t be an easy task.

I actually think the West Indies’ bowling is quite dangerous. Jerome Taylor is their most consistent paceman and was excellent in the second Test – at one stage he had 5-29 off 20 overs. Kemar Roach has been good over here. Shannon Gabriel is erratic, but he’s got some pace.

I don’t think their bowling is the issue. It’s obviously their batting.

I had to watch the 2015 series on TV, but I had a first-hand view of the West Indies in 2012 as part of ‘s squad. The most glaring difference is: where is Darren Bravo, who was then ranked among the best batsmen in the world?

When we were doing our scouting for that earlier series in the Windies it was impossible to overlook Bravo. At that stage he was a 23-year-old who had played only 12 Tests but was averaging 52.5, with three centuries and six half-centuries.

It wasn’t just the numbers that got our attention. It was his reputation – that his technique was reminiscent of Brian Lara’s. That was a big call, to be compared to one of the best players of all time, but based on what I saw of him in 2012 I thought it was fair. That may sound silly given he averaged only 37 for the series, but he had four innings where he reached 30. He did well, just without making a big score to prove it.

I expected the elegant left-hander be the next big thing out of the West Indies. The fact he has averaged only 35 in the 3 1/2 years since that series, and has an overall batting average only barely above 40 surprises me greatly.

Bravo has a lot of potential. Given his technique is good, I don’t know why it hasn’t clicked for him. It’s just disappointing he hasn’t yet gone on to be the player he could be – and should be. It just seems he hasn’t been consistent, or played to anywhere near his potential. But he’s a dangerous player who likes the bigger games. He’ll be one the ns will be looking out for. It’s been 10 Tests since he got a century, and what a time it would be to fix that.

While it was sad to see Mitch Starc go down in Adelaide, I was rapt at the response of Josh Hazlewood. He was able to put the ball consistently in a “Josh Hazlewood” area, his pace was good, and he was swinging it and bowling a perfect length. And he got the rewards.

A lot of people consider Hazlewood a stock bowler. I still think he’s primarily a strike bowler. If you give him the new ball he’ll still be able to take wickets, but when partnerships are building he also has that ability to pull back and bowl dots. Captains love that, and value it. That was reinforced during my playing days when the shine came off the new ball and Mitch Johnson would take over the strike-bowler role. Peter Siddle and I would pull back, contain, and let Mitch go and do what he had to do.

From afar, it seems the beneficiary of Starc’s absence will be James Pattinson. They both made their Test debut at the same time, at the start of 2011-12, and are both talented bowlers. The reason for the big difference in what they have produced at international level, with Starc playing 25 Tests and Pattinson only 13, is simple: injury.

Patto has got the opportunity he’s been waiting for and working very hard to get. It’s a good opportunity for him to settle back in. Hopefully with Starc being out for a bit he won’t feel he has to try too hard to keep his spot, that he can just go out and not worry about anything except bowling and putting the ball in the right spot.

He really is a stereotypical fast-bowler: nice off the field, snarling on it. He’s got that passion, and he loves playing for . He’s a great bowler to have in your team and a great man to have in your team. He’s been through a fair bit with injury. Hopefully this is a milestone for him to get confidence in his body, so he can show everyone what he can do.

McGrath’s failed IPO is a warning for investors

Ding, dong, down: John McGrath ringing the bell. Real estate agent McGrath listed on the ASX and closed almost 13 per cent down from the IPO price. That may seem strange, given shares were not overly expensive – according to conventional metrics – and given there was plenty of demand in the IPO.

But weak demand for McGrath shares might be telling us something about the broader n economy. You see, since the mining boom went bust, the strongest part of our economy has been residential real estate. And with more than half its offices located in Sydney, McGrath has a strong presence in ‘s strongest property market. For believers in the house price boom, McGrath must look attractive.

So could it be that house price bulls are getting thin on the ground?

There’s little doubt that the housing boom is over in the resource-focused regions such as Western . But the larger markets of Sydney and Melbourne are still going strong. And since high prices mean high commissions, McGrath is well positioned to profit. But how long can it last?

House prices in our major cities are already at the level where it has become commonplace for first-home buyers to buy only with the assistance of their parents. Even those who spring for the entire deposit themselves have often received help from their parents, even into their early thirties. In fact, the n Bureau of Statistics reports that 17 per cent of ns aged 25-34 still live with their parents. Often, this cohabitation is required to allow children to save a deposit on a first home, or increasingly, an investment property. This shows that the next generation is already at the limits of their capacity to pay.

Sydney house prices were 1.4 per cent lower in November, as foreign demand softens, banks tighten lending, and buyers baulk at high prices. Indeed, auction clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne are trending lower, and McGrath itself says that “house and unit prices are expected to peak in FY2016 before declining in FY2017 and FY2018.” Others argue the peak has already passed.

Some might see McGrath Real Estate as a bargain at less than 14 times 2016 earnings, but it seems that is not the view of the market. Indeed, the fundamentals suggest it probably isn’t the best time to buy a real estate business, given that the company’s profits will be profoundly influenced by residential property prices (agencies make money on commissions, after all). Making it up on volume?

McGrath may be quick to argue that even if lower prices lead to lower commissions, increasing volumes can make up the difference. While that may be true in theory, the company’s own data shows that volume didn’t grow in during the GFC, even though it only had a minimal impact on house prices. Over in the USA, where price falls were much more significant, the volume of existing homes sold roughly halved from peak to trough. There’s little doubt that falling house prices would mean falling profits for McGrath.

With interest rates in at historical lows, many younger investors and first home buyers would struggle to conceptualise a high-interest rate environment. In the face of the end of the mining boom, rates are likely to stay lower for longer than many suggest, but anything can happen over the course of a 30-year mortgage. The Reserve Bank of can’t continue cutting rates forever, and if rates eventually rise, it will put pressure on the property market. Foolish takeaway

Gen Y and the Millennials after them may baulk at signing up for 30 years of debt for a house on the outskirts that they can barely afford without mum and dad. In that case, new McGrath shareholders might find that they’ve made a leveraged bet into the property market at precisely the wrong time. It won’t take much to see n property prices cool significantly, and few would cheer that outcome. But it pays not to forget that prices can go down as well as up.

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Claude Walker is a Motley Fool investment analyst. You can follow Claude on Twitter @claudedwalker. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691).

Archbishop Philip Wilson argues for permanent stay of proceedings against him

UNPRECEDENTED: Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson is charged with concealing the child sex crimes of the late Hunter priest Jim Fletcher. He is arguing for a permanent stay of proceedings.A CHARGE against Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson of concealing the child sex crimes of a Hunter priest was “foredoomed to fail”, a Newcastle local court magistrate was told on Tuesday.

Barrister Ian Tenby, QC, for the archbishop asked magistrate Robert Stone to permanently stay proceedings against his client, arguing to continue would be an abuse of the court’s process.

InMarch, Archbishop Wilson became the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world to becharged with concealing the child sex crime of another priest, the late Jim Fletcher, after allegations a 15-year-old boy told him in 1976 that Fletcher had committed “gross offences” against him when he was 10.

The charge against Adelaide Archbishop Wilson, who was ordained in 1975 and served in the Hunter for another two decades, was “unprecedented”, Mr Tenby said.

During a one-day hearing Mr Stone was told the Crown case was that Archbishop Wilson “hasa tendency to fail to report such matters”.

The Crown case, if the matter proceeds, will include evidence from Catholic priest Father Glen Walsh and the mother of a Fletcher victim who allege they told Archbishop Wilson thatFletcher had abused a boy decades earlier, within days of Fletcher being charged with offences against another Hunter boy.

“During that call [Archbishop Wilson]told Father Walsh that if he didn’t report it to police he would be ‘legally liable’,” the Crown told Mr Stone.

Archbishop Wilson “clearly understood his obligation to report” allegations to police but “failed to do so without reasonable excuse” in relation to the allegations made by the boy in 1976, the court was told.

“The Crown’s submission is it’s an affront to commonsense to suggest [Archbishop Wilson]would not have remembered what he was told by (the 15-year-old boy) back in 1976”, after Fletcher’s arrest and charges against him in 2004.

The evidence was “very strong” that Archbishop Wilson had an actual belief that Fletcher had committed offences against the boy who spoke to him in 1976, but did not report it to police, the court was told.

Mr Stone was told the then Father Wilson’s alleged failure to report allegations to police was not alleviated by reporting the matter to superiors in the church. Priests had the same reporting obligations as other members of the public, the Crown said.

The Crown did not accept as a reasonable excuse that child sexual abuse allegations could be dealt with under the Catholic Church’s internal complaints procedures.

Mr Stone reserved his decision.