Bernard Kevin McGrath.
A former Catholic brother and convicted paedophile has
been arrested in Christchurch after returning to New Zealand
from Sri Lanka.
Bernard Kevin McGrath, a former St John of God brother, faces
extradition to Australia on 252 sexual abuse charges.
In 2006, he was jailed for five years for sexually abusing
boys at Marylands School in Christchurch in the 1970s, and
was paroled in 2008.
McGrath fled New Zealand to Sri Lanka earlier this year and
was reportedly living on a tea plantation in the highlands.
Now, Australia police want him extradited from New Zealand to
face the new charges of abusing, molesting and raping boys
and young adults at church-run institutions in New South
Wales over several decades.
The 65-year old voluntarily left Sri Lanka last week and
arrived at Christchurch International Airport on Friday.
He was allowed through immigration before being arrested in
the city a few hours later.
After spending a weekend in police cells, McGrath in
Christchurch District Court today (Monday).
Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh opposed bail, citing the
seriousness of the alleged offending and that he was a
possible flight risk.
But Judge Jane Farish did not agree he would take flight,
especially since he had returned to New Zealand voluntarily
knowing he would face arrest.
She granted bail on strict conditions that he reside at his
sister's residence in Christchurch, report to a police
station three times a week, has no contact with children, and
does not go within 100 metres of any primary or secondary
His passport had already been surrendered and he can not
apply for a new one.
Judge Farish remanded him until December 17 which will allow
him time to study the new charges.
At his next hearing, McGrath will either accept extradition
or oppose the application.