Suffolk clergyman to stand trial

Ian Finn ANL-140916-173301001
Ian Finn ANL-140916-173301001

A Haverhill-based clergyman is to stand trial accused of defrauding his own church of more than £13,000.

The Rev Canon Ian Finn, 55, today (Monday) appeared at Ipswich Crown Court where he pleaded not guilty to an offence of fraud by abuse of position.

Mr Finn, of Hopton Rise, Haverhill, who is an honorary canon at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and rural dean of Clare, as well as rector of the Haverhill with Withersfield benefice is alleged to have committed the offences over a seven year period.

The charge relates to the alleged loss of £13,204 from fees paid for church services between June 1, 2007 and March 1, 2014 by false accounting.

Finn, who spoke only to confirm his name and to plead not guilty, is the rector of St Mary the Virgin Church in Haverhill. More than a dozen supporters were in the public gallery for the brief hearing.

He has been suspended from his post since an investigation by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich began into alleged financial irregularities in February last year.

Judge David Goodin told Finn that his trial was due to take place in early May. Finn will continue to be granted unconditional bail until his next court appearance.