Maurice Wildish. photo: Tim Marsden
Maurice Wildish. photo: Tim Marsden

Former church leader charged over historical sex offences

A FORMER Uniting Church Reverend has been arrested on historical sex offence charges dating back 20 years on the Gold Coast.

Maurice Wildish, 73, was extradited from Melbourne yesterday, after detectives from the Child Protection Investigation Unit travelled to Swan Hill on Sunday and arrested him.

Queensland Police were granted an extradition order in the Swan Hill Magistrates Court on Monday afternoon to bring Wildish back to the Gold Coast.

Maurice Wildish, 73, being led through the Gold Coast Airport after being extradited from Victoria. photo: Tim Marsden
Maurice Wildish, 73, being led through the Gold Coast Airport after being extradited from Victoria. photo: Tim Marsden

Wildish attempted to cover his face as he was led through the Gold Coast Airport late on Tuesday.

Wearing tracksuit bottoms and a zip-up jumper, he looked dishevelled, as detectives from the CPIU placed him in a waiting unmarked police car and took him to the Southport Watchhouse.

Maurice Wildish. photo: Tim Marsden
Maurice Wildish. photo: Tim Marsden

Last night he was charged with five counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

It's understood the charges relate back to the alleged indecent dealing of a child on the Coast in the 1990s.

It will be alleged Wildish knew the family of the child he committed the offence against, but they were not related.

It's understood Wildish was a Reverend at a Uniting Church on the Gold Coast at the time of the alleged offending.

 

 

It's understood investigations into Wildish are ongoing.

Wildish is expected to front Southport Magistrates Court this morning on the five counts.

It's believed Wildish was a Reverend for the church in a number of cities across the east coast of Australia.

Wildish continued to be active in the church until he retired from the Swan Hill Uniting Church in 2013 where he was a minister.

If you have any information about you believe may assist detectives in this case, or any historic child sex offences, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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