Sri Lankan Haven: (Or: A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Tea Bush)


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St. John of God Brother, Kevin McGrath is to be extradited from New Zealand to Australia to face 252 charges of child sexual abuse in the Newcastle- Maitland area. His case, strangely, has not come up at the New South Wales government enquiry.

This is particularly so, because of the errors by the NSW police in the extradition process.

McGrath had been a teacher and dormitory master at the St. John of God boarding school for boys with learning and behavioural difficulties, “Marylands” in New Zealand. He also worked with the Hebron Trust, which was a learning centre for street kids.

In 1993, he was sentenced to three years prison for offences against these boys. If they had already been having difficulties, they would have had severe ones after McGrath had finished with them.

In 2006, he was convicted on a further 22 charges in New Zealand, and released on bail in 2008. By this time, one would assume that authorities would be fairly well convinced that he would be found guilty of the 252 charges raised from his time at the notorious KendalGrangeCollege in Morisset, in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese.

Delays of the order of five months in the extradition process by NSW police and the Australian Federal Police had consequences. McGrath hopped on a flight to Sri Lanka, without interference from New Zealand authorities, thus subverting the extradition process.

Sri Lanka is a notorious paedophile hang-out. Local criminals are thought to traffic at least 10,000 children, mainly through so-called “orphanages” (see previous posting). McGrath set himself up somewhere in Sri Lanka on a tea plantation. It is believed that the Australian Federal Police in Sri Lanka had been monitoring his movements there.

The local authorities appear to have had their hands tied. Sri Lankan police spokesman, Prishantha Jayakody, said, at the time, that he had no information on McGrath, and that he had been waiting for formal notifications from Australia. This information would have had to come through Interpol before action could have been taken. Meanwhile, the local immigration authorities were unaware that one of Australia’s worst paedophiles had entered the country.

Sri Lanka’s National Child Protection Agency had been tipped off that McGrath was living in the country and had asked the criminal investigation department for McGrath’s passport number as well as requesting his details from the Australian High Commission. However, the agency needed to await formal notification before it could seek to arrest McGrath. This did not come.

McGrath appeared to be safe, because Sri Lanka and Australia do not have a formal extradition treaty. However, there is provision under the “London Scheme” whereby offenders can be transferred between Commonwealth countries. This was not used by Australian authorities, but may have influenced McGrath’s legal advisors.

Clearly, the Royal Commission must review Australia’s extradition processes and agreements if we are to cease exporting our paedophiles to unsuspecting countries like Sri Lanka, Samoa, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Whatever the reason, McGrath flew back to New Zealand voluntarily and was promptly arrested to face the Australian extradition proceedings. During the proceedings, the judge at one stage threatened to clear the court because the gallery was so upset. So, nearly a year after charges were filed against him in the Newcastle court, McGrath may soon be returning to Australia to face the charges. Finally.

Read more here:

TOMORROW: The Ridsdale saga

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)


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