Hung jury in Suffolk vicar's trial

 

Hung jury in Suffolk vicar's trial

Author: 

George Conger

The jury hearing the case of the Rev. Canon Ian Finn, rector of St Mary the Virgin Church in Haverhill, Suffolk, (pictured) was unable to reach a verdict on allegations he had unlawfully kept £12,707 in church fees. On 17 Nov 2015 the judge dismissed the jury sitting at the Ipswich Crown Court after they were unable to reach a verdict following the week long trial. On 8 Feb 2014 Canon Finn met with Archdeacon David Jenkins after his curate expressed concerns over his handling of fees for weddings and funerals. The court was told by the prosecutor, Charles Myatt, Finn said he would look into the matter and after reviewing his records since he took up his post in 2007, turned over £18,096.50 to the Diocesan Board of Finance in fees. Canon Finn’s attorney told the court his client’s actions were a result of financial incompetence, not criminal theft. An accounting by the diocese and a subsequent police investigation led to charges of theft and Canon Finn was placed on leave pending the outcome of the trial. The Crown Prosecution Service has been asked to make a decision by 8 Dec 2015 whether it wishes to seek a retrial.

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