Priest, wife decide to plead guilty to defrauding parish

Rosie Mullaley
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Case expected to be settled next month

An Anglican priest and his wife charged with defrauding their parish have decided they want to plead guilty to criminal charges instead of pursuing an application to have their case heard in Mental Health Court.

Rev. John Dinn and Catherine Lynn Dinn were not in provincial court in St. John’s Friday when their case was called. They were represented by their lawyer Jeremy De Jong.

De Jong told Judge Mark Linehan that his clients have decided not to go through with the application and instead will plead guilty and go to sentencing.

De Jong and Crown prosecutor Sheldon Steeves agreed to deal with the case on Aug. 12.

De Jong had filed an application several months ago to argue the case should be heard in Mental Health Court.

The Crown opposed it.  

John Dinn, 54, a rector at St. John Evangelist Church in Topsail, and his wife Catherine Dinn, 51, are facing criminal charges that they defrauded the Conception Bay South parish of money.

It’s alleged that on Dec. 17, 2012, Catherine Dinn knowingly made a false document by writing a cheque and depositing it at HSBC that defrauded the parish of a sum of less than $5,000.

She’s accused of two other similar incidents — one in July and another in August 2012 — where a cheque was forged and then deposited at HSBC, defrauding the parish of an amount under $5,000.

John Dinn faces similar charges.

In July and October 2012, he allegedly forged cheques and deposited them at HSBC, defrauding his parish out of an amount under $5,000 in each incident.

All told, Catherine Dinn faces 12 court charges and John Dinn, 13.

John Dinn has been on leave from the parish since January 2013.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: HSBC, St. John Evangelist Church

Geographic location: Conception Bay

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