Archbishop Philip Wilson faces landmark trial on allegations he failed to report child sex allegations

LANDMARK: Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson outside Newcastle courthouse in December, where he appeared for allegedly concealing child sex allegations. The case will resume on Monday. Picture: Darren Pateman
LANDMARK: Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson outside Newcastle courthouse in December, where he appeared for allegedly concealing child sex allegations. The case will resume on Monday. Picture: Darren Pateman

ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson’s hearing into allegations he concealed child sexual assault allegations against another priest is expected to resume in Newcastle Local Court on Monday.

The estimated two-week hearing began in December following an initial delay after the archbishop was assessed by a neurologist as having a “working diagnosis” of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Archbishop Wilson was ultimately deemed fit to stand trial and said that despite the diagnosis he planned to remain head of Adelaide archdiocese for the next eight years.

The 67-year-old has pleaded not guilty to failing to advise police between April, 2004 and January, 2006 that Hunter priest Jim Fletcher allegedly indecently assaulted a boy, 10, in 1971.

The landmark case and Archbishop Wilson’s three failed attempts to have the charge dismissed have opened the door to similar charges being laid against church and secular officials in NSW alleged to have failed to report child sex allegations to police over decades.

The hearing is listed to continue on Monday.