Prosecution appeals Wilson’s sentence; defence appeals conviction

Two sides go head to head: the prosecution appealing former Adelaide archbishop Philip Edward Wilson’s “inadequate” sentence and his defence team appealing Wilson’s conviction.

Wilson has been found guilty of concealing the crimes of paedophile priest James Fletcher who was convicted of child sexual abuse in 2004 and died in jail in 2006.

Magistrate Robert Stone said Wilson had shown no remorse or contrition for the cover-up and his primary motive had been to protect the Catholic Church.

Stone accepted Wilson was unlikely to re-offend but said he had to serve a period of detention to act as a deterrence to others.

He sentenced Wilson (67) to a year’s imprisonment. However, he ruled the sentence should be served through a minimum six-month home detention order at Wilson’s sister’s house.

Wilson will appeal his conviction in the District Court in a hearing in November.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office has lodged an inadequacy appeal against Wilson’s sentence.

It will proceed on November 27 and 28. The first day will be reserved for the appellate judge to read the court transcript.

Although he initially resisted resigning as archbishop pending his appeal, for him to do so led to him offering Pope Francis his resignation.

Francis accepted Wilson’s resignation as archbishop on 30 July.


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