Northampton priest acquitted of 'financial irregularities' charges

St Aidans parish church in Manor Road, Kingsthorpe village.
St Aidans parish church in Manor Road, Kingsthorpe village.

A Northampton priest who was suspended from duty after police launched a fraud investigation into "financial irregularities" has been acquitted of all charges after appearing at a crown court in the south of England.

Father David Clark, a priest who belongs to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, has been serving in parishes in the UK for several years while conducting research at Cambridge.

Between 2014 and April this year, he has been charge at St Aidan’s parish church in Manor Road, Kingsthorpe village.

But immediately before his appointment to Northampton, Father Clark served in the Diocese of Brentwood, which became subject of a probe into alleged financial irregularities at the start of April this year.

He was suspended from duty in Northampton when the allegations came to light, though his term of office was due to end on April 30.

However, all charges have now been dropped against the priest.

On November 8, Father David Clark was acquitted at Basildon Crown Court of two charges of fraud by false representation arising from his time serving in the Diocese of Brentwood.

A statement made on the Diocese of Northampton website states: "Prior to charges being made against him, it had been agreed that Father Clark, a priest of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon in the United States, would complete his term of office as priest in charge of St. Aidan’s, Northampton on 30th April 2017 and then return to his home Archdiocese."

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