Monthly Archives: June 2019

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Jail urged for Wilson despite poor health

The most senior Catholic official in the world to be convicted of concealing child sex crimes must be jailed to send a message that institutional cover-ups will no longer be tolerated, a NSW court has heard.

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson stood aside but refused to resign after he was found guilty in May of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys.

Magistrate Robert Stone on Tuesday said the archbishop would be sentenced in early July.

Pedophile priest James Fletcher indecently assaulted Peter Creigh on multiple occasions in the NSW Hunter region during the 1970s but when the child reported it to Wilson the clergyman did nothing.

Prosecutor Gareth Harrison said there was a “breach of trust” between the vulnerable youngster who – along with another altar boy – came forward in 1976.

“A 15-year-old boy came to him for help … this wasn’t a split-second decision,” the prosecutor told Wilson’s sentencing hearing at Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday.

“He thought he’d gotten away with this for all those years.

“He lied and the root of each of those lies is the unflinching loyalty to the Catholic church and protecting it at all costs.”

Mr Harrison argued the 67-year-old should be locked up to deter other religious leaders, to denounce the conduct and to recognise the harm done to the victims.

Defence barrister Ian Temby QC argued Wilson may not survive being jailed which would likely worsen the senior cleric’s many chronic illnesses and put him at risk of violence from fellow inmates.

Wilson suffers from diabetes, heart and Alzheimer’s disease and depression, which would further deteriorate behind bars and “may even threaten his survival”, Mr Temby said.

But Mr Harrison noted there was no evidence to suggest Wilson would be attacked in jail and his medical condition wasn’t an excuse for him to escape punishment.

“Ill health cannot be a licence to commit a crime,” he said.

The archbishop’s legal team argued he should instead be given a good behaviour bond. The offence carries a maximum two-year jail term.

Mr Temby stressed Wilson was a trailblazer in introducing church police checks and compliance systems in Australia.

“The offender is not just a man who has no prior convictions but is, in fact, a man of prior positive good character with particular reference to the general field of prevention of child sexual abuse,” Mr Temby said.

Fletcher was found guilty in December 2004 of nine counts of child sexual abuse. He died in jail of a stroke in January 2006.

The magistrate rejected claims by Wilson that he could not remember the children’s allegations.

Wilson stood aside from the Adelaide archdiocese following his conviction in May and said if it became necessary for him to resign he would do so.

The hearing continues with Mr Stone to reserve his sentencing decision until July 3.

Australian Associated Press

Burston comfortable with Clive Palmer

Former One Nation senator Brian Burston (L) says he is comfortable joining Clive Palmer’s party.Former One Nation senator Brian Burston says he is “very comfortable” joining Clive Palmer’s new political party, despite his new leader’s chequered history.

Senator Burston officially quit Pauline Hanson’s party on Monday and immediately announced he would be part of Mr Palmer’s rebadged United Australia Party.

“We will unite Australia and we will bring integrity back into the Senate,” Senator Burston told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

At a chaotic press conference at Parliament House, Labor MP Cathy O’Toole heckled Mr Palmer about former Queensland Nickel workers who say he owes them money.

“I don’t owe anyone anything in north Queensland,” Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer blamed the liquidators for any missing money, and said he planned to reopen his Townsville nickel refinery.

He is also facing criminal charges in Queensland, which he did not comment on.

Senator Burston said he was “very comfortable” standing next to Mr Palmer, even with his former workers complaining about not being paid.

“That issue is before the courts and I am not in a position to comment and I won’t comment,” Senator Burston said.

Mr Palmer later confirmed he was interested in running for the north Queensland seat of Herbert, which Ms O’Toole won in 2016.

He previously held the seat of Fairfax from 2013 to 2016.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did not comment on Senator Burston’s defection.

“As far as Mr Palmer is concerned, I guess all I can say is we have seen that film before,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.

Australian Associated Press

Heat on Qld’s Wallace after second chance

The heat is on Jarrod Wallace to step up after being given a “second chance” for Origin II.The heat is on Jarrod Wallace to step up after Queensland gave the maligned prop a “second chance” in Sunday’s must win State of Origin game two in Sydney.

Gold Coast forward Wallace came under fire after an underwhelming display in the Maroons’ 22-12 game one loss in Melbourne, registering just 43m from five runs according to NRL南京夜网.

There was speculation Wallace would even be axed from a rejigged Maroons pack with Melbourne’s Tim Glasby and Brisbane’s Joe Ofahengaue knocking on the door.

Selectors kept the faith when they named Wallace in the Maroons’ 18-strong game two squad on Monday.

However, it came with a warning.

“Jarrod has a second chance,” Maroons selectors’ boss Gene Miles said.

“We all know what his (game one) stats were – it’s not ideal. We expect a lot more from our front rowers.

“I said before game one if our front rowers don’t play well we don’t win and that certainly hasn’t changed.”

Miles hoped Wallace responded in game two just like he did in the Titans’ match two days after the Gold Coast prop’s Origin I fizzer.

Spurred on by his Origin frustration, Wallace ran 168m and made 40 tackles in the Titans’ 18-16 NRL round 14 loss to South Sydney.

“He went out a couple of nights after Origin and played the house down for the Titans,” Miles said.

“Let’s just hope he can repeat that performance because that is what we are expecting of him.”

There was speculation Maroons lock Josh McGuire may be injected into the starting front row to add mongrel but Queensland coach Kevin Walters defended Wallace’s series-opening effort.

“There was some criticism around Jarrod Wallace which I thought was unfair,” Walters said.

“Sure, he only had the five carries and needs to do more there but defensively I thought he was really good.”

The Maroons are sweating on Wallace’s front row partner, fiery prop Dylan Napa (ankle), who must prove his fitness by Wednesday.

Glasby is on standby.

“Obviously we would miss his aggression and you want to throw a little bit of fear into NSW forward pack,” Miles said of the prospect of losing Napa.

“But let’s just be on the positive side and say we are very hopeful he can pass that test and be in the team.”

Australian Associated Press

Maroons turn to hardman Gillmeister

Jacob Lillyman (left) talks to Trevor Gillmeister, Queensland’s ‘Minister for Defence’.In his playing days, Trevor Gillmeister was known as The Axe.

But Queensland have given him a new moniker ahead of Sunday’s must-win State of Origin game two in Sydney – the Minister for Defence.

The Maroons have turned to former hard man Gillmeister to plug their defensive leaks after Queensland missed a staggering 55 tackles in their 22-12 game one loss in Melbourne.

Ex-Queensland skipper Gillmeister earned his colourful nickname for his uncanny ability to chop down opponents and his tackling style will be drilled into the Maroons from their first training session on Wednesday.

“We won’t win a game if we miss 50 tackles,” Queensland selectors’ boss Gene Miles said.

“I think the emphasis early on at camp will be defence.

“But we’ve got the Minister for Defence Trevor Gillmeister in relation to tackling technique and positional play so he will obviously play a fair role in our preparation this time.”

Queensland coach Kevin Walters was confident Billy Slater would also help revamp their defence by marshalling the troops from fullback after returning from a hamstring injury.

Slater is set to play Origin No.30 after pulling out just days before game one at the MCG due to the injury.

Walters said Melbourne’s Tim Glasby was another potential solution to their defensive woes.

Glasby is on standby for prop Dylan Napa (ankle) who must prove his fitness by Wednesday.

Glasby impressed in the final two games of last year’s series, helping Queensland stiffen their defence and bounce back from a record home loss to claim yet another series win.

“We need to stop NSW from scoring points and I couldn’t think of a better man to do that than Tim Glasby in the middle of the field,” Walters said.

Walters said the Maroons were confident of shutting down game one man of the match – NSW fullback James Tedesco – after doing the same to Blues forward Andrew Fifita last year.

Fifita inspired NSW’s record 28-4 game one triumph at Suncorp Stadium before the Maroons muscled up to claim their 11th series win in 12 years.

“After Andrew Fifita ran through us in game one…we fixed it up in game two last year and that has to be our mentality for this team as well,” Walters said.

Australian Associated Press

Belgium pushed before rolling over Panama

Unlike the other World Cup favourites that struggled through their opening matches, Belgium looked every part the title contender.

Having Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku capable of scoring the way they did against Panama helps.

“People know I am supposed to score goals,” Lukaku said. “The most important thing to me is to win matches.”

Lukaku scored twice in a six-minute span in the second half after Mertens’ perfectly struck volley gave Belgium the lead, as the Red Devils beat overmatched Panama 3-0 to top Group G.

Saddled with massive expectations and a line-up of talent the envy of other teams in the tournament, Belgium showed flashes of being a team worthy of being world champions.

A shaky first-half performance by Belgium was replaced by a confident, attacking group in the second that was finally able to find gaps in Panama’s defenve and convert those chances into goals.

“In the World Cup you have to play 90 minutes,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said.

“You have to be aware that in any game you go into, if you don’t score early on, you have to be prepared to work hard and go through periods in which you are tested.”

The two goals from Lukaku came shortly after Mertens scored from about 18 yards in the opening moments of the second half, finally relieving some pressure after Belgium was unable to break down Panama for the first 45 minutes.

Lukaku’s first goal came 20 minutes later, but the pass from Kevin De Bruyne made it possible. Rather than shooting through a crowd of Panama defenders, De Bruyne cut a pass with the outside of his right foot onto Lukaku’s head and into the net.

Lukaku added a second on a breakaway minutes later, chipping Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo as he left his net.

“For me it’s important to have the right line in the box,” Lukaku said. “Usually I’m in the right position at the right time.”

Panama played their style – physical, aggressive, sometimes looking more like wrestling than soccer – and managed to hang with the Red Devils for longer than expected.

They were called for 18 of the game’s 35 fouls and shown five yellow cards of the eight dished out.

But they never created threatening scoring chances and eventually Belgium took complete control.

“We are a team that is very organised, we play tactically,” coach Hernan Dario Gomez said.

“Sometimes we may look tough but the other teams are tough and physically strong as well.”

Panama need a result against England, who edged Tunisia 2-1, in their next game to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Belgium will be favoured to account for Tunisia as the group’s big guns eye off a battle for top spot in the final group game.

Australian Associated Press