Romantic relationship between a Roman Catholic priest, Reverend John Reid and his housekeeper went sour after it was discovered that the priest defrauded his parish of more than £50,000. He spent money meant for the church lavishly on gifts for his housekeeper and her daughters.

More details on the Roman Catholic priest's lifestyle

One would have expected a Catholic priest to live a simple life but Reverend Reid spent money lavishly on food and vacation in Scotland. He was also a member of an elite club-The Sunday Times Wine Club.

Having spent over four years in St Cuthbert's, statistics show that his basic remuneration should be close to £31,455 or so.

However, it was found that his account said otherwise, containing much more than is expected of a man in his position. He transferred £113,000 to himself from parish cheques and wrote more than 150 cheques to himself that were co-signed by his lover.

The court proceedings on the priest's case of defrauding his parish

The chief prosecutor, Jane Waugh revealed that the priest, who had joined the parish in 2009 was now living in Stockton. From the accounts of the parish, their expenses on some areas started increasing fourfold after Reverend Reid took on leadership. This was quite unusual with his predecessors.

Stating more evidence on the case, Waugh revealed that women wears was found in the bedrooms.

She also added that passports belonging to the housekeeper Gillian Leddy and her two daughters was discovered in a safe. From the court proceedings, Reverend Reid told the police that he had grown fond of Gillian Leddy and fell in love with her as time went on. He even saw her daughters, Veronica and Alice as the family he wished he had.

Judging from the interrogations in the court, the priest gave house properties and two cars to his housekeeper. His benevolence did not stop there, the priest went ahead to give them substantial amounts of cash and opened a cafe business for them. According to the priest, he was helping his housekeeper and her daughters financially.

Christopher Knox, the defendant, said his client - the priest, was unhappy and very remorseful for his actions

Reverend Reid was suspended for 18-months following the Durham Crown Court ruling. He pleaded guilty for engaging in fraud by abusing his position at a previous hearing. He also agreed to compensate the parish for his crime and pay back the £50,000 within three months.

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