Philip Wilson, the Archbishop of Adelaide has been found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970’s. The Court heard that he covered up the abuse of altar boys by an Assistant Priest in New South Wales.
During the criminal trial Wilson denied that victims had told him about the abuse they were suffering. James Fletcher was an Assistant Priest in Maitland, North of Sidney. He was found guilty of nine sexual abuse offences in 2004.
Philip Wilson denied any knowledge of Fletcher’s actions. During the Court hearing, one of Fletcher’s victims, Peter Creigh gave evidence that he “described the abuse in detail to Wilson in 1976, five years aft it had taken place.” Another victim told the Court that he had disclosed to Wilson what was happening to him in the confessional box when he was 11 years old. “Wilson told him he was telling lies and to recite 10 Hail Mary prayers as a punishment.”
Magistrate Stone, rejected Wilson’s evidence that,
“he had no memory of the conversation, and said that he found Mr Creigh to be a reliable witness. The priest knew what he was hearing was a credible allegation and the accused wanted to protect the Church and its reputation.”
Peter Creigh made the following statement outside Court,
“The decision will hopefully unravel the hypocrisy, the deceit, and the abuse of power and trust that the church has displayed.”
Philip Wilson is the most senior member of the Catholic Church to be charged and convicted of this offence. He will be sentenced in June 2018.
Jordans represent numerous victims of abuse by the Church. If you or a family member needs expert advice on a sexual abuse compensation claim, please contact us for a free, confidential, no obligation basis on 0330 300 1103.