News

Undertaker faces more charges

Ballina Funeral Home director Neil Gray will be in court today charged with multiple offences, including stealing from corpses.
Ballina Funeral Home director Neil Gray will be in court today charged with multiple offences, including stealing from corpses.

 CHARGES of stealing from the dead against Ballina Funeral Home director Neil Edward Gray continue to mount as he prepares to front court at Ballina again today.

Police in February added another 10 charges to the accusations Gray stole items such as jewellery from the bodies of people entrusted to him to prepare for cremation.

Gray, 67, of East Ballina, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Shortly before Christmas he declared the accusations against him were “totally unfounded and the truth will prevail”.

Police yesterday announced they had added another two charges to the list, this time from people claiming to have been defrauded after pre-paying for funerals at the Ballina Funeral Home, which Gray owns with his estranged wife.

There hasn't been any suggestion Gray's estranged wife was in any way complicit in the charges laid against him.

The new accusations bring the charges laid against Gray to about 20.

Yesterday, Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Inspector Greg Moore, called on anyone who had bought funeral bonds or pre-paid funerals through the funeral home to check with their funds to make sure their money was secure.

Insp Moore agreed the call was an unusual step for police, saying they did not like appearing to solicit complaints against someone.

But he said complaints against Gray continued to trickle in and it would be helpful to the case if all charges could be grouped together.

Gray was arrested in December, when it is believed a colleague at the funeral home went to the police with a quantity of jewellery, including necklaces, rings and watches allegedly taken from the bodies of people placed in Gray's care.

Gray is also accused of stealing a Ballina RSL Club dinner jacket worth $500 that was in his care.

Police allege Gray inflated the invoice for one funeral he conducted and he duplicated another invoice, seeking payment from two insurance plan providers for the same funeral.

He is accused of fraudulently presenting statements totalling more than $15,000 for two other funerals.

Some of the charges against Gray date back to 2006.

Gray previously told journalists the jewellery he was alleged to have stolen could not be in the casket during a cremation. He said he removed it from the dead and labelled it with their name to hold in trust. It was an “oversight” the jewellery was not returned to family members, he said.

Anyone with concerns about pre-paid funerals at the Ballina Funeral Home should call Ballina detectives on 66818699.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Sausage Kings snag Plateau award

WINNERS: The team from Alstonville Quality Meats accept the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. From left: Bruce Hall, owner Ashley Thomson, Thomas Brown and Lachlan Thomson.

Alstonville's Sausage Kings are now the business kings

A walk through giant brain is educational

INSIDE THE BRAIN: Western Sydney Local Health District clinical nurse consultant Clare Drew (left) and Northern NSW Local Health District nurse practitioner psychogeriatric Anne Moehead inside a giant inflatable brain at the NNSWHD two-day aged care symposium in Ballina.

Giant brain on show at aged-care symposium in Ballina

10 biggest achievements for Ballina in the past 12 months

Ballina Shire Council has done a review of its delivery program and operational plan.

Many important projects are now complete, or well under way

Latest deals and offers

Parents' worst nightmare: Daughter, 6, could be deported

A NORTHERN Rivers family is desperately fighting for their six-year-old daughter, who has been threatened with deportation because of her mystery illness.

Sausage Kings snag Plateau award

WINNERS: The team from Alstonville Quality Meats accept the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. From left: Bruce Hall, owner Ashley Thomson, Thomas Brown and Lachlan Thomson.

Alstonville's Sausage Kings are now the business kings

A walk through giant brain is educational

INSIDE THE BRAIN: Western Sydney Local Health District clinical nurse consultant Clare Drew (left) and Northern NSW Local Health District nurse practitioner psychogeriatric Anne Moehead inside a giant inflatable brain at the NNSWHD two-day aged care symposium in Ballina.

Giant brain on show at aged-care symposium in Ballina

10 biggest achievements for Ballina in the past 12 months

Ballina Shire Council has done a review of its delivery program and operational plan.

Many important projects are now complete, or well under way

Guide to the ‘perfect day’ on the Northern Rivers

Shelly Beach, East Ballina.Photo The Northern Star Archives

Got visitors in town and not sure where to take them?

A practical stand against violence against women

TAKING A STAND: Taekwondo black belt and owner of Strike Martial Arts, Shane McKeahnie, is holding free self-defence classes for women later this month.

Black belt offering course in martial arts

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

Police charge in after Lohan claims fiance tried to kill her

"You tried to kill me. You're a f*****g psycho".

Prince Harry regrets not talking about Diana's death

Diana, Princess of Wales, enjoys a ride on the Maid of Mist in Niagara Falls, Ont., in this Oct., 1991, with her sons Prince Harry, then 7, and Prince William, then 9.

The royal was 12 years old when his mother was killed

Oh Kim, be careful with the spray tan when breast feeding

Kim Kardashian West accidentally smothered North's face in fake tan

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started