Home杭州桑拿 › Archbishop Philip Wilson argues for permanent stay of proceedings against him

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.

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