Police investigate footage of Catholic priest 'snorting cocaine in room full of Nazi memorabilia'

Fr Stephen Crossan has denied he is a Nazi but admits to taking drugs at his parochial home while on sick leave

Caroline Mortimer
Tuesday 01 March 2016 20:46 GMT
Video footage of Father Stephen Crossan snorting a line of cocaine, obtained by the Sun on Sunday
Video footage of Father Stephen Crossan snorting a line of cocaine, obtained by the Sun on Sunday (Sun on Sunday/YouTube)

Police are investigating a Catholic priest after he was caught on camera snorting a line of cocaine in a room full of Nazi memorabilia.

Fr Stephen Crossan, 37, snorted the drug through £10 note during a night of drinking at his parochial home in County Down, Northern Ireland.

The room allegedly contained several items of Nazi memorabilia including flags, hats and an eagle with a swastika on the mantlepiece.

In the footage obtained by the Sun on Sunday, he is seen placing a cigarette in the ashtray and saying “I shouldn’t” before snorting the line of white powder.

The priest was on sick leave from his job at St Patrick’s Church in the town of Bainbridge in July last year.

Fr Crossan admited to the newspaper that he had taken drugs, but claimed “It was just the one night and that was it. I do not have an issue with drugs.”

The former prison chaplain denied he was a Nazi and said: “I collect historical stuff. There’s stuff there from every country”.

Local officers told the BBC they were investigating the footage on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: "Police are aware of the article in a Sunday newspaper and are making inquiries."

In a statement, Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey said Fr Crossan had been granted leave from his pastoral duties in May 2015 and was receiving counselling for depression.

Bishop McAreavey said that at the start of February, Fr Crossan had asked for an extended leave of absence from the priesthood and was no longer living in his parochial house.

The bishop also said he was concerned for Fr Crossan’s health and would be standing by him.

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