Paedophile Offender: Brother Bernard McGrath

Brother Bernard McGrath

Brother Bernard McGrath is one of the worst paedophile offenders in the history of Australia and New Zealand. His prolific offending was enabled by the notorious St John of God religious order, who moved him between the two countries when complaints arose.

In around 1978, McGrath was sent to Australia from New Zealand to work at ‘Kendall Grange’ in Morisset, NSW. Kendall Grange was a boarding institution for boys with educational difficulties. He had previously spent four years working in a similar institution in New Zealand, known as Marylands. He remained at Kendall Grange until around 1986, becoming the headmaster in 1981.

It was at Kendall Grange that the majority of McGrath’s Australian crimes were committed. He was physically violent, sadistic, cruel and sexually abusive. The boys in Kendall Grange were extremely vulnerable, with many suffering from intellectual, social, academic and/or behavioural difficulties. They were in no position to fight back, and McGrath took advantage of this to perpetrate violent sexual crimes upon them.

McGrath had committed similar crimes in Marylands prior to his transfer to Australia and continued to abuse children upon his return to New Zealand in 1986.

Were you abused in Kendall Grange? Click here to share your story with us. You may be eligible for compensation.

McGrath has been convicted of offences in Australia and New Zealand on multiple occasions and will serve a grand total of over 30 years behind bars. He will likely never be released from prison.

He was first convicted in 1993 when he was sentenced to 3 years in jail for offences committed on six underaged boys in New Zealand. He was extradited to NSW in 1997, where he was first convicted of sexual abuse at Kendall Grange. In 2002, McGrath was found guilty of a further 21 charges relating to his time at Marylands in New Zealand.

In 2018, McGrath was found guilty of a further 64 offences in NSW and sentenced to 33 years (minimum 21) in jail for the abuse of boys at Kendall Grange. In 2019, McGrath was called back to court to face a number of additional charges relating to Kendall Grange. He was sentenced to additional jail time and will now be 97 before he is eligible to apply for release on parole.

Unfortunately, McGrath was not the only offender at Kendall Grange. There were many more offenders stationed both there and in the St John of God Order generally. Kelso Lawyers have represented a number of survivors abused by McGrath and other St John of God offenders. However, there are many more victims out there who are yet to receive justice.

If you were abused by Bernard McGrath or any other paedophile offender, we want to hear from you. We will fight for you. Click here to share your story, or call us on (02) 4907 4200.

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