A Sydney court has found that former Adelaide Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing a crime. This is groundbreaking. Not so much in a legal sense, but because of the implications for other officials of institutions where sexual abuse is alleged, or has been found to have taken place.

No doubt this finding, and the way in which Magistrate Robert Stone has interpreted and applied the law, will be the subject of an appeal to the New South Wales District Court, or even the Supreme Court if the appeal is purely about the interpretation of the law. But one immediate issue is penalty. There have been calls for Wilson to be imprisoned. But the matter is not so simple.