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€73,000 church theft is "traumatic and painful" - diocese 30.04.14

CHURCH of Ireland leaders in Inishowen today expressed disappointment after a former treasurer who stole the Sterling equivalent of almost €73,000 walked free from court.
The Church of Ireland grouped parishes of Muff, Co Donegal and Culmore, Derry, said the theft of parish funds had been both "traumatic" and "painful" for them.
They were responding after Lyndsey Bredin (27) of Primity Crescent, Newbuildings, Derry, received an 18 months prison term suspended for three years at Derry Crown Court yesterday.
She had pleaded guilty to 19 counts of theft between March 2010 and October 2011.
The court heard that Ms Bredin had failed to pay back a single penny of the money she took.
It also heard that the theft had left plans for a new church roof in Muff in jeopardy.
Ms Bredin resigned from her post in November 2011. A church audit revealed she had been paying cheques – totalling almost £60,000 – to herself instead of paying the church's bills.
“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," a spokesman for the Derry and Raphoe diocese told Inishowen News.
"We can only continue to pray for the strength to behave as God would have us. 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.
He said the diocese and select vestry of Muff and Culmore would make no further comment on the matter.
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