Priest jailed for theft of funds

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A priest was yesterday jailed for a year after admitting plundering more than pounds 80,000 from church funds.

The Rev Martyn Davis, 37, of Fareham, Hampshire, admitted seven charges of theft and asked for 300 charges of theft, deception and false accounting to be taken into account at Northampton Crown Court.

The court was told that he committed the offences over a three-year period while working as youth officer in the diocese of Peterborough.

Davis, married with one child, had used the cash to pay bills, settle credit card debts and buy gifts for friends.

The offences had not come to light until he had left to take up another job within the church. The court was told Davis was suffering from depression when the offences were committed.