“Archbishop Philip Wilson pleads not guilty to concealing child sex abuse” & related articles

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 The Sydney Morning Herald

Date   

Gabriel Wingate-Pearse

Archbishop Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty.Archbishop Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty. Photo: David Mariuz

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty to concealing child sex abuse in the Catholic church via his lawyer in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday.

Archbishop Wilson, who did not appear, was represented by barrister Simon Buchen, who said his client was pleading not guilty and he was anticipating a lengthy hearing.

He flagged with Magistrate Robert Stone there may be an application to “change the venue”.

Archbishop Wilson's lawyer Simon Buchen, left, leaving court in Newcastle on Thursday.Archbishop Wilson’s lawyer Simon Buchen, left, leaving court in Newcastle on Thursday. Photo: Darren Pateman

One issue was the possible length of any hearing but Mr Buchen alluded to other issues which he did not specify.

“That’s not the only reason,” he said.

Mr Stone said he could make an application but if a magistrate could be made available at Newcastle, if that was where most witnesses were located, it may not be granted.

The prosecution asked for six weeks to prepare the brief of evidence to be served by June 3, reply on June 17, when Archbishop Wilson, who is not on bail, would again be excused from attending.

Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic clergyman in the world to be charged with concealing a child sex abuse allegation against another priest.

He was charged on March 17 with one count of concealing a child sex allegation made against the late Hunter priest Jim Fletcher in the 1970s.

That came nearly nine months after the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry recommended the charge.

Police allege that the archbishop knew for two years – between April 2004 and July 2006 – that Fletcher had abused a 10-year-old boy but failed to notify police.

Outside the court, Mr Buchen said his client had pleaded not guilty and would be defending the charges, but refused to comment on why the archbishop did not come to court.

The archbishop is one of only a handful of Catholic clergymen in the world to be charged with concealing a child sex allegation against another priest, and only the third in Australia after the late Toronto priest Tom Brennan became the first to face such a charge in 2012.

The Newcastle Herald

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Adelaide Archbishop pleads not guilty

The Age (Australia)

Date May 7, 2015 – 2:47PM

Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop has pleaded not guilty to a charge of concealing child sexual abuse committed by a colleague.

Archbishop Philip Wilson was charged in March with one count of concealing information about a serious indictable offence, namely the 1971 sex assault of a 10-year-old boy by priest James Fletcher in Maitland.

Wilson, 64, was excused from appearing on Thursday at Newcastle Local Court, but his lawyer Simon Buchen said his client was pleading not guilty.

Police allege he concealed the abuse between 2004 and 2006.

Wilson has been Archbishop of Adelaide since 2001 and is believed to be the most senior Catholic official in the world to face a charge of this kind.

When the allegation was first raised earlier this year, Wilson said he was disappointed police had decided to charge him and would “vigorously” defend his innocence.

The charge follows an investigation by Strike Force Lantle, which, since 2010, has looked into allegations of concealment of child abuse by former and current clergy attached to the Catholic Church’s Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.

On Thursday Mr Buchen flagged he would apply to move the case from Newcastle to Sydney.

Wilson’s matter returns to court on June 17.

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Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson pleads not guilty to abuse cover-up at Newcastle hearing

news.com.au

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/dodzR4dDpuUB3D4z41XtAQU3R_ZpMH4i/promo255235275&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

Adelaide’s Lunchtime Newsbyte – 7th May

ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson has pleaded not guilty to covering up sexual abuse in the Catholic Church dating back to the 1970s.

The Archbishop of Adelaide — the highest-ranking member of the church anywhere in the world to be charged with concealing child sex abuse within Catholic ranks — did not appear for this morning’s brief hearing in Newcastle local court.

The court heard that Wilson would plead not guilty to the charge laid in March following investigations by Strike Force Lantle, established to investigate allegations of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in the Hunter Region during the 1970s.

Police allege Wilson was a junior priest in the region in 1976 when he failed to alert authorities after learning of another priest’s abuse of a child.

Archbishop Wilson has pledged to “vigorously” defend the charge in court. Picture: James

Archbishop Wilson has pledged to “vigorously” defend the charge in court. Picture: James Elsby Source: News Corp Australia

Wilson has previously issued a statement outlining his intention to “vigorously” defend the charge in court.

His solicitor told the court this morning the initial hearing was likely to take one week, prompting him to apply to transfer the case to Sydney.

Archbishop Philip Wilson leaves the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide after being charged

Archbishop Philip Wilson leaves the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide after being charged in March by NSW police. Picture: Kelly Barnes

Magistrate Robert Stone said he would require further details about witnesses and other matters before any transfer could take place.

He excused Wilson again from appearing at his next court date on June 17 and asked that a brief of evidence be provided by June 3.

Wilson was free without bail being applied previously and it was not implemented at today’s hearing.

10 Responses to “Archbishop Philip Wilson pleads not guilty to concealing child sex abuse” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    A reminder that Archbishop Philip Wilson is facing charges for allegedly turning a blind eye to sexual predators in their midst, in this instance, however, the charges predate Wilson’s consecration as a bishop and date to 1976 when he was a priest in the Hunter region.

    A reminder too that Archbishop WIlson’s lawyer is Ian Temby QC, one of Australia’s leading lawyers who can command an hourly fee of $100,000 $1,000.

  2. Mike Mc says:

    Notes: Archbishop Philip Wilson- charged in March with one count of concealing information about a serious indictable offence, namely the 1971 sex assault of a 10-year-old boy by priest James Fletcher in Maitland.

    Wilson, 64,….. is pleading not guilty.

    Police allege he concealed the abuse between 2004 and 2006.

    Wilson has been Archbishop of Adelaide since 2001.

    Reasoning: Like the Msgr Lynn trial (Pennsylvania, USA), if it can be proven Wilson knew of the sex assault, then he should be found guilty and face prison time.

    Comment: It’s about time Wilson and other Bishops and Cardinals start shivering in their puffed up robes and face the issue of whether it was better to cover up for “Mother Church” or help the victims and reveal the sexual abusing priests involved.

    It’s obvious Wilson sided with the “coverup” that allowed a sexual abusing priest to remain concealed. So many others have abused again and again.

    The Church is filled with these coverups! The Vatican vaults “should and will be” opened one day to reveal a horrific holocaust-like tragedy.

    Mark my word.

  3. Australia follows says:

    Australians with a conscience are eagerly following this aparent enabler.

    However the might of the Catholic Church ensures only minimal reporting in the print median, nothing seeningly on TV. The world will be interested in seeing how other jurisdictions will react if he is convicted. No wonder the Church are using a $1,000 per hour lawyer.

    As ISIS seems to be sadly spreading its evil ways, if the Catholic Church does not react with appropriate action then radical Islam and ISIS can only spread. The world needs the Church to act

  4. Mike Mc says:

    One last comment: Where is the Church getting $1,000.oo “AN HOUR” to hire lawyers? From Rome? From trust funds? From sold lands? Yes to all. But mostly the Church is getting monies from foolish parishoners who are supporting this…and probably unknowingly doing so.

    If people started putting LITERALLY their “2 cents worth” in the collection plates, then the Church would eventually hire court appointed lawyers.

    Again, I can’t believe the stuff I read in here!!!
    Ok, I believe it, Sylvia, but it’s ‘unbelievable’ !!!!!!!!

  5. $1,000 per hour and then some. says:

    The $1, 000 per hours is just for the QC (Queen’s Counsel a senior lawyer for those with other than British legal systems), QC’s have an instructing Barrister, then there will usually 2 instructing Solicitors. So the $1,000 per hour would need to be doubled and then some.

    Where does the Church get the money ? From all of things listed Mike, but maybe not from Rome. The TAX EXEMPT Church in Australia is very very wealthy. But yes all those parishioners who give money and have given money over the decades have all contributed to the Church war chest. Australia’s largest land owner is hardly broke.

    Wasn’t it George Cardinal Pell (formerly of Sydney, now of the Vatican) who famously told a film crew he wouldn’t drink any wine worth less that $300 per bottle? George if you are reading this, or is any friends of George are reading this, did you manage to get your clock repaired ? Such a shame. George you need to be more careful about having silk carpets on the floor and not on the walls where they are meant to be. It could have been a frail elderly person who tripped with catastrophic results.

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