Ballina priest accused of theft surrenders passport
AN ASSISTANT Catholic priest in the Ballina parish accused of stealing charity money from the Diocese of Lismore has been made to surrender his passport under police imposed bail conditions.
Father Alexander Mutua Munyao was represented by a solicitor in Ballina Local Court today for the first mention of the matter before Magistrate R Denes.
The Kenyan national, stands accused of two counts of stealing property as a clerk/servant under the amount of $2000.
It is alleged that between November 13 last year and June 25 this year Munyao stole $270, and in a second incident between July 9 and July 23 this year Munyao allegedly stole a further $870.
The 35-year-old was charged on September 19 and he was granted bail by police.
However, police imposed bail conditions on Munyao taking into account his "few community ties and no family ties in Australia", and the strength of the prosecution case.
"The accused has made admissions," police bail papers noted.
Under the conditions Munyao was required to surrender his passport and comply with a curfew.
He must also reside at the St Francis Xavier presbytery for the duration of the court proceedings.
Proceedings were immediately adjourned this morning, to return to Ballina Local Court on November 30.