Priest faces assault hearing

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Date Published: 08/08/2008

A GREEK Orthodox priest allegedly grabbed a parishioner around the neck after a disagreement at a church committee meeting, a Sydney court has been told.

Father John Grillis is facing two charges of assault relating to the alleged incident at a Greek Orthodox church in Burwood on February 1, 2006.

Giving evidence today in Burwood Local Court, John Mihalopoulos demonstrated what allegedly happened at the meeting, using a volunteer from the court to show how he was placed in a headlock.

Mr Mihalopoulos said he and Father Grillis had disagreed on something when Father Grillis got up from the table where committee members were sitting and grabbed an empty glass.

”He grabbed me by the neck, he squeezed me strongly and put the glass on my neck,” he said.

Mr Mihalopoulos said the incident had left him unable to sleep in the weeks following and led him to seek help from a doctor.

”I remember this scene all the time,” he said.

”It hasn’t left my mind.”

The hearing continues before Magistrate William Pierce.