Australia archbishop gets house detention for abuse cover-up

Ex-archbishop Wilson returns to NSW court

He did not apply for bail and has been ordered to serve his one-year sentence at home, starting today.

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.

Wilson, 67, has denied the accusations and had refused to resign pending an appeal.

Wilson said nothing but one of his supporters challenged Mr Gogarty as to why he did not come forward 40 years earlier and, when challenged by Mr Gogarty to a debate in front of the TV cameras, moved away and said: "I don't have time for rubbish like you, mate".

He was convicted in May of failing to report to police the historical sexual abuse of two altar boys by a pedophile priest while he was stationed in the NSW Hunter region.

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The magistrate accepted Wilson was unlikely to re-offend but had to serve a period of detention to act as a deterrence to others. "His Grace, as somebody just said upstairs, has shown no grace", abuse survivor Peter Gogarty said outside the court.

Fletcher was found guilty on nine child sexual abuse charges in 2004 and died in jail in 2006.

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During Wilson's sentencing in July, Stone found the former archbishop had shown no remorse or contrition for the cover-up.

Wilson's case highlights Australia's struggle to confront the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the nation's Catholic and other institutions.

"I'm still here, still hurting. and not a single, solitary word to say sorry". He repeatedly asked the clergyman if he would apologise as he was led to a waiting auto but was ignored.

Mr Gogarty said Wilson's home detention was too lenient, labelling it a six-month holiday at his sister's home. "But I'm still here, still hurting, and he's now going to lodge an appeal, and we could wait months and months and months for that process to play out".

He quit his job as an archbishop after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on the Vatican to sack him.

The magistrate said Tuesday given the fact he had previously been of good character, and taking account of his age, mental and physical conditions, a home detention order was punishment enough.

Wilson remains an ordained bishop within the church with no episcopal authority.

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