A Catholic Brother in court on 252 child-sex charges re 35 alleged victims
A former Catholic Brother charged with 252 child sexual assaults appeared in court in Sydney on 24 December 2014 after being extradited to Australia from New Zealand. Bernard Kevin McGrath (formerly a member of the St John of God Brothers) faced an extensive list of charges at Sydney’s Parramatta Local Court – including raping, molesting and abusing 35 children while he worked as a Catholic Brother in New South Wales.
McGrath (born 22 May 1947) was refused bail and was remanded in custody until his next court date, which is 29 December 2014 for a brief administrative procedure. The main court process will begin in 2015.
The Australian government has been seeking McGrath’s extradition for three years for crimes he allegedly committed during his time as a Catholic Brother in New South Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.
In August 2014, he was ordered to surrender to Australia by New Zealand’s Justice Minister. McGrath then lost a New Zealand High Court appeal against the extradition.
McGrath is accused of multiple child sexual assault offences alleged to have been committed in the NSW Hunter Region, north of Sydney, between 1977 and 1986.
In November 2011, the Lake Macquarie Detectives Office in New South Wales commenced extradition proceedings against him while he was living in Christchurch, New Zealand. The investigator in the McGrath case is Senior Detective Russell Turnbull, of the Lake Macquarie Detectives Office.
In mid-December 2014, the New Zealand High Court authorised McGrath’s extradition to NSW.