‘It’s a betrayal of survivors everywhere’: Children’s advocate furious at home detention for Archbishop
An advocate for victims of child abuse believes home detention for an Archbishop who protected a paedophile is ‘a betrayal of survivors everywhere’.
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has been sentenced to just six months jail, all of which is expected to be served in home detention, for concealing the repeated sexual abuse of two altar boys in the 1970s.
The sentence has received widespread condemnation, with victims saying, “We get life, he gets home detention. It’s disgusting.” outside of court.
Bravehearts Founder Hetty Johnston tells Mark Levy it’s a missed opportunity to stop future cases of people not reporting abuse.
“It’s not good enough. I mean it’s fabulous that he’s been charged, fabulous that he’s been convicted and then they let the team down by not putting him in jail.
“The message has to be strong, don’t do it. Not just if you’re a priest, anybody.
“Do not conceal this crime because if you do, you will go to jail.
“Unless we get that message across then this is sort of like a half win and it’s a betrayal of survivors everywhere.”
Mark asks if the attention this case has received will lead to more charges against those who covered up sex abuse in institutions?
“I think so, I hope so, we have to!
“We need this to be widespread, we need states and territories across the country to make sure they follow the lead here and they continue along the path because we have to change this.
“Not as retribution but to put a line in the sand and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Click PLAY below for the full interview
The interview prompted NSW Police Minister Troy Grant to phone the program.
He tells Mark Levy he’s “absolutely appalled at this sentence”.
“This is no deterrent as a sentence, it’s appalling. The children deserve better, the victims deserve better and the community do.
“They have to be sentenced according to community standards now, not at the time of the offence.
“It also says, very importantly… the court must have regard for the trauma of sexual abuse of children as understood at the time of sentencing.
“That hasn’t been done in this case and that’s why everybody’s so disgusted.”
Click PLAY below to hear Minister Troy Grant’s call