Church treasurer paid 'bogus bill' from vicar

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The Independent Online

A parochial church council treasurer told a court how he came to pay a bogus bill that had been forged by a vicar.

A parochial church council treasurer told a court how he came to pay a bogus bill that had been forged by a vicar.

Robert Cray, of St Peter and St Mary Church in Stowmarket, Suffolk, wrote a cheque for £16,046 in "good faith" because he "had no reason to doubt" Reverend Trevor Jones.

Jurors at Ipswich Crown Court were told yesterday that the Rev Jones was living beyond his means and swindled more than £20,000 out of church funds in two years.

The 50-year-old vicar denies 12 offences including obtaining services by deception, theft and procuring the execution of a cheque.

Anthony Bate, prosecuting, said the Rev Jones asked Mr Cray to write a cheque for £16,046, claiming it was a solicitor's fee for development of a plot of land.

Mr Cray said he had no reason to doubt the vicar because the parish church had been left a legacy which consisted of a house and land.

The case was adjourned until today.

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