Australian Archbishop charged with concealing child sexual abuse. Dozens of witnesses come forward.

A Newcastle court has heard there are around 40 witnesses in their case against Catholic. Archbishop Philip Wilson, who has been charged with concealing child sexual abuse.

Adelaide’s Archbishop Philip Wilson was excused from his second Newcastle local court appearance this morning. He has previously pleaded not guilty to concealing the serious indictable offence of another person. The charge relates to when Wilson was an assistant parish priest in East Maitland in the 1970s, and worked with paedophile priest James Fletcher.

The court today heard the brief of evidence, which is more than 2,000 pages long, has been served. It currently contains around 40 witnesses, but police prosecutors hope that number will be “whittled down”. Documents previously tendered in court say Wilson believed Fletcher had indecently assaulted a 10-year-old boy in 1971.

It is alleged he knew he had information which might help with Fletcher’s prosecution. The documents say, “without reasonable excuse”, Wilson failed to bring that information to the attention of police. Wilson has been excused from court when his matter is mentioned again in Newcastle on July 22.