Ex-Catholic brother to be extradited on sex abuse charges

Date

Anne Clarkson

A judge has granted the extradition of former Catholic brother Bernard McGrath from New Zealand to Australia to face hundreds of sex-abuse charges.

The Australian government's application for extradition was granted by Judge Jane Farish in the Christchurch District Court.

In Australia, charges have been laid against Mr McGrath, 65, alleging that he raped, molested and abused boys at church-run institutions over several decades.

A total of 252 charges have been laid. The charges relate to 35 complainants between 1977 and 1986.

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Judge Farish said she felt that the extradition would not be unjust or oppressive to Mr McGrath, in a reserved decision released on Tuesday, about two months after submissions on the application were heard.

She said Mr McGrath had 15 days to lodge an appeal or he could voluntarily go back to Australia, but after 15 days he would be arrested and sent there under the extradition order. The judge remanded him on bail to June 26 and said he had to surrender to Christchurch Prison on that day.

She suppressed publication of historical or recent photographs of Mr McGrath.

■ The Salvation Army is facing a $10 million lawsuit brought by an 80-year-old who is claiming he was abused, including sexually, during his 10 years at Gill Memorial Home for boys at Goulburn.

Sydney man Ralph Doughty was seven when he entered the facility after his mother died and did not leave until he was 17.

With AAP