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Teacher jailed for sex abuse

A former Catholic teacher was jailed for five years on Thursday after being convicted on 21 charges of sexually abusing boys at a residential school run by the St John of God Order in New Zealand in the 1970s.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 19:52 IST

A former Catholic teacher was jailed for five years on Thursday after being convicted on 21 charges of sexually abusing boys at a residential school run by the St John of God Order in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Bernard McGrath, 58, was found guilty by a jury in the Christchurch High Court last month.

New Zealand police are considering whether to appeal against an Australian judge's refusal to extradite two other Catholic clergymen facing historic child sex charges at the school.

Judge Rodney Madgwick's ruling that the men would not get a fair trial in New Zealand was condemned as "insulting and nonsense" by lawyers and sexual abuse campaigners.

In Sydney on Friday, the Federal Court judge overturned a lower court decision that would have extradited Roger Maloney, 71, and Raymond Garchow, who were also brothers of the St John of God Order, to face trial on a total of 32 charges of sexually abusing students.

The order has acknowledged the abuse and paid out more than 5 million New Zealand dollars (about 3.1 US dollars) in compensation to former pupils. Although four brothers from the school have been charged, McGrath is the only one to face trial.

A fourth brother, William Lebler, 83, who faced more than 30 counts of sexual assault, buggery and sodomy, was judged "borderline mentally retarded" and too sick to stand trial, The Press newspaper reported.