Hossen Sohel: A former Australian archbishop, the most senior Catholic cleric in the world convicted of concealing child sex abuse, was spared jail on Tuesday when he was ordered to serve his one-year sentence at home.
Newcastle Court Magistrate Robert Stone allowed Philip Wilson, 67, to serve his detention at home after an assessment by prison authorities due to a range of health issues, including heart disease, faced by the former archbishop, reports Reuters.
Wilson was ordered to begin serving his detention from yesterday in New South Wales state and would be eligible for parole in February 2019, the court said, without disclosing the address of where he would be held.
Australian Broadcasting Corp. Television showed Wilson being driven away from the court in Newcastle, about 170 km (105 miles) north of Sydney. It said he would be staying at his sister’s house.
Wilson has said he planned to appeal against his conviction for failing to disclose to police abuse by a priest, Father James Fletcher, after being told about it in 1976 by two victims.
An angry victim of Fletcher who was not involved in the case against Wilson confronted the former archbishop outside the court, pressing him to apologize and saying the appeal process would prolong the pain suffered by abuse victims.
“Where is the contrition from former Archbishop Wilson? His Grace, as somebody just said upstairs, has shown no grace,” abuse survivor Peter Gogarty said outside the court.
“This man said two weeks ago he was resigning as the Archbishop of Adelaide because of the hurt done to people like me, but I am still here and still hurting,” he said.
Nayeemul Islam khan
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