Funeral director Neil Gray outside the courtroom.
Funeral director Neil Gray outside the courtroom. Jay Cronan

Ex said 'she'd bash him to death'

THE EX-WIFE of a Ballina funeral director threatened to bash him to death with a piece of wood and warned him she’d ‘make his life a misery’, a court has heard.

For the first time since his arrest in December, Neil Edward Gray, 67, who is accused of stealing jewellery and other personal effects from the dead, has put forward his side of the story, painting a picture of his wife as a vengeful woman who was out to ruin his life.

Mr Gray, supported in court by a small group of friends, told a hearing at Byron Bay local court that his wife of 15 years, Cheryl Gray, said in 2009 that she planned to kill him and dump his body on the side of the road, then lay his motorbike next to him to look like an accident.

A year later, she wanted him to sign the matrimonial home and its belongings over to her, warning she’d make his life a misery if he didn’t. She’d said “You’ll go to jail boy,” Mr Gray told the court.

While several charges of fraud were dropped against Mr Gray yesterday, he is still facing 10 charges relating to the theft of jewellery and personal effects.

The case has been adjourned until November 25.



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