NewsCrime World

Vicar found guilty of theft hands himself in after going on the run

Simon Reynolds
Simon Reynolds

A British vicar who was thought to have fled to the continent before the verdict could be returned in his theft trial has been arrested.

Simon Reynolds, of Farnham, Surrey, did not return to Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police had alerted Interpol, fearing that the 50-year-old Anglican clergyman had fled to continental Europe.

Reynolds, who was found guilty of four counts of theft, handed himself in at Sheffield police station earlier.

He has appeared at Sheffield Crown Court and is being kept in custody until his sentencing on Tuesday.

He went on the run after pocketing more than £24,000 (€33,700) in fees for weddings and funerals has handed himself in to police following appeals from senior clergy.

Senior clergy including the Bishop of Wakefield, Tony Robinson, had appealed to Reynolds to turn himself in.

"Simon, we would like to assure you that you are in our prayers and all our thoughts at this difficult time," the bishop said in a personal appeal.

"We are very concerned for your well-being and urge you to be in touch and allow justice to take its course. Never forget we are praying for you."

Reynolds was found guilty of keeping the fees for weddings and funerals for himself, instead of passing them on to diocesan authorities as required.