THE first Australian priest to be charged with covering up sex abuse in the Catholic church will never have his day in court.
Father Tom Brennan died in country NSW on the weekend.
The 74-year-old made history earlier this year when became the first member of the Australian Catholic Clergy to be charged with failing to report child abuse by another priest.
Police allege the offences took place in the Hunter Valley more than 20 years ago.
Father Brennan was due to appear in court last week but was excused due to illness.
ABC online reported he died on Sunday night following a long battle with cancer.