Paedophile priest dodges deportation

Convicted paedophile and former Catholic brother Bernard Kevin McGrath has avoided deportation, for now, by appealing against his extradition to Australia to face hundreds of sex-abuse charges.

McGrath, 65, had until Wednesday to either lodge an appeal or voluntarily go back to Australia, where 252 charges have been laid alleging that he raped, molested and abused dozens of young boys at church-run institutions over several years.

The charges relate to 35 complainants between 1977 and 1986.

The Australian government's application for extradition was granted by Judge Jane Farish in the Christchurch District Court on June 11.

McGrath was given 15 days to lodge an appeal or voluntarily leave New Zealand.

If he had done neither by Wednesday, he had to surrender himself to Christchurch Prison.

McGrath's lawyer, Phillip Allan, said a notice of the appeal against the extradition order was filed on Monday.

It was now with Judge Farish, who had up to 14 days to decide whether to sign off on the case stated and allow the appeal to go ahead.

If she allows it to proceed, the matter will be remitted to the High Court to set a date for an appeal hearing and make a decision, Mr Allan said.

He said Judge Farish had indicated she would like to have her part of it done as soon as possible.

Until then, the matter was on hold and McGrath would remain on bail under stringent conditions.

"New Zealand is his home. He's got no friends or family [in Australia]," Mr Allan said.

In her reserved decision released on June 11, Judge Farish said the extradition would not be unjust or oppressive to McGrath.

McGrath, a former St John of God brother, was staying on a tea plantation in the highlands of Sri Lanka, but returned to Christchurch late last year after news of the Australian charges.

He is understood to be living with a sister.

This story Paedophile priest dodges deportation first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.