Catholic priest who spent church donations on foreign travel faces sentence

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A Roman Catholic priest will be sentenced for fraudulently diverting more than £50,000 donated to his church by parishioners.

Father John Reid, 69, admitted abusing his position after he took the money meant for charitable purposes and the upkeep of St Cuthbert's Church, Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

During the four-year period, from June 2009 to October 2013, he instead spent some of the money on foreign travel and restaurants.

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

At a previous hearing Reid, who now lives in Stockton, Teesside, pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position, but last month at Durham Crown Court he changed his plea and admitted one of the charges.

After the investigation was launched by Durham Police in 2014, Reid withdrew from public ministry, which also included leading St Bede's Church in Sacriston.

He will be sentenced at Durham Crown Court.