Reverend tried to con pensioner out of £5,000 before holding her funeral

Reverend Edward Andrew Morris held the pensioner’s funeral shortly after trying to con her out of thousands (Picture: BPM Media)

A reverend who tried to con a 96-year-old woman out of £5,000 conducted her funeral just a month later. Mavis Pennack trusted Reverend Edward Andrew Morris, 62, so much she included him in her will.

 But Mrs Pennack’s stepdaughter later discovered bank statements which showed numerous sums of money being taken out of her account, despite the pensioner living in a care home.

Morris pleaded guilty to fraud at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court by abusing his position in the parish of Bestwood, Nottinghamshire.

The reverend, who is known as Andy to his parishioners, was told the case was so serious he would be sentenced by a crown court judge.

He is accused of fraudulent activity between December 11, 2016 and January 6, the following year, at Hall Park Care Home, in Bulwell.

Mrs Pennack died in February, 2017, a month after the fraud ended. Stepdaughter Sheila Smith, 82, called the reverend’s actions ‘abominable’.

She said: ‘For a man of the cloth to do that is abominable.

This is very wrong but he is very plausible. ‘He conducted her funeral and is even mentioned in the will. We could just not believe it.’

She said suspicions were raised when dealing with Mrs Pennack’s papers after her death. ‘My sister and I worked through bank statements and wondered why she seemed to keep taking out money.

‘We thought it was her care home fees but they were paid by direct debit,’ added Mrs Smith, a retired audit clerk.

Morris was told that ‘while occupying a position, namely as reverend of the parish of Bestwood, Church of England, in which you were expected to safeguard, or not act against, the financial interests of Joan Mavis Pennack, you dishonestly abused that position intending to make a gain, namely £5,000, for yourself’.

Details of the case were not outlined but District Judge Leo Pyle discussed the range of sentences which available, before granting unconditional bail to Morris. He sent the case to the crown court where Morris is due to appear on October 22.

Morris has been suspended from his post as Vicar in the Benefice of St. Matthew with St. Philip, Bestwood.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham said: ‘We took action as soon as this was brought to our attention and have worked closely with police and the statutory authorities to support their investigation.

‘The safeguarding and protection of vulnerable people is our highest priority.

We are deeply sorry for what has happened and offer an unreserved apology to everyone who has been affected by this crime.’


No comments:

Post a Comment