Parish responds to sentence for £60k theft

Muff, Church of Ireland
Muff, Church of Ireland

The Parish of Muff and Culmore has responded to the sentencing of former treasurer Lyndsey Bredin, who was convicted of stealing £60,000 from her church.

In a statement from the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe today, spokesperson on behalf of the Parishes of Muff and Culmore said: “The theft has been traumatic and painful for church members and we are continuing to work together to face both the financial loss and pastoral consequences of our former Treasurer’s breach of trust.

“Jesus’ call to forgive and pray for those who have wronged us is difficult and challenging. We can only continue to pray for the strength to behave, as God would have us,” the spokesman said, continuing: “We look forward to reading the judge’s full ruling to understand the appropriateness of a suspended sentence for a theft of some £60,000”.

The spokesman added that the Diocese and the Select Vestry of Muff and Culmore would be making no further comment on this matter.

Earlier this week at the Crown Court sitting in Londonderry 27-year-old Lyndsey Bredin pleaded guilty to 19 charges of theft by an employee between March 2010 and October 2011. At the time of taking the money she was serving as the honorary treasurer for the Parish of Culmore and Muff and the money she stole included donations made for a new roof for Muff Church, which parishioners had made in memory of people who had died.

The court heard that Bredin had destroyed all records relating to the donations as well as the messages that had been sent in with them.

Sentencing her, Judge Philip Babington told the defendant it was “extremely disappointing that not a penny has been repaid”. He noted the “offending has adversely affected the financial future of the churches for a very long time into the future”.

Bredin was given an 18-month jail sentence, which he suspended for three years.