County Durham Priest Who Stole From Church Spared Jail

A priest who admitted stealing tens of thousands of pounds donated to his church in County Durham has been spared jail.

UPDATE: 7th April 2017 

70-year-old Father John Reid was handed an 18-month suspended sentence at Durham Crown Court after he admitted fraud by abuse of position at a previous hearing.

He has agreed to pay back the money within three months.

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First published: 21st March 2017 

Father John Reid pleaded guilty to taking money that was meant for charity and the upkeep of St Cuthbert's Church in Chester-le-Street.

During the four years from 2009 to 2013, it's alledged he spent some of that money on holidays and restaurants.

He was also accused of failing to keep proper receipts and accounts.

At a previous hearing, Reid pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position, but he changed his plea at Durham Crown Court and admitted one of the charges.

After the police investigation in 2014, the 69-year-old resigned from his job, which also included leading St Bede's Church in Sacriston.

He's been bailed and will be sentenced in April.

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