A treasurer who abused his position to steal £76,382 from church funds has told the Examiner that he wants to pay the money back.
Paul King, 37, pleaded guilty on Friday to fraud in relation to money he stole from St Stephen’s Church in Lindley over a period of around two years up to May this year.
The 37-year-old stole the money by transferring it online from church bank accounts into his own, Kirklees magistrates’ court heard.
The father-of-two also created fraudulent invoices for work which hadn’t been carried out.
A member of staff at the church discovered the thefts when she checked invoices.
King, of Buckden Court, Chesil Bank, Quarmby, admitted to police what he had been doing.
Solicitor Mark Mangano, acting for King, told magistrates that his client – who has no previous convictions – had been “frank” with police about his offending.
“At the time he was having personal problems which affected his mental health and is still affecting it. His marriage broke down at the time.
“Since he committed the offences he has apologised to the church and the diocese in writing.”
Following the hearing, King told the Examiner he couldn’t fully explain why he had taken the money.
He added: “It’s complicated. There’s a lot of mental health issues and trouble at home.”
He said the money hadn’t been spent on anything extravagant – just on everyday things such as clothes for his children and items at Christmas.
“I have written a letter to the vicar (Rev Rachel Firth) to say I am very sorry for what I have done, to show my remorse. I want to pay the money back.”
King said he wasn’t working at the moment, having previously worked in a purchasing/procurement role in Leeds.
He will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on January 5.