Former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has had his conviction for concealing child sexual abuse overturned.
Judge Roy Ellis said Archbishop Wilson was an honest and consistent witness and that there were inconsistencies in the evidence given by the alleged victim.
The 68 year-old Archbishop had been convicted in May this year by the Newcastle Local Court for concealing abuse committed by a priest in the Hunter Valley in the 1970s.
He was sentenced to six months home detention.
In quashing the conviction Judge Ellis said of Archbishop Wilson, “There were very honest features of his evidence to provide a strong platform for him to be an honest witness.”
“He did not attempt to blacken the name of Peter Creigh and allege he was a liar.
“He was clearly an intelligent and articulate witness.”
Archbishop Wilson appeared via video link for the decision. He did not appear in person in order to avoid a “media scrum”.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide welcomed the court’s decision bringing to conclusion “a process that has been long and painful for all concerned.”
“We now need to consider the ramifications of this outcome,” the statement said.