The theft jury trial of London diocese priest Father Robert Couture resumes on Wednesday, 09 December 2015 with closing arguments from the Crown and defence. There is NO court tomorrow or Tuesday.
A belated posting of the media coverage of the proceedings of Friday 04 Decmeber 2015:
04 December 2015: Jury hears from final witness is theft trial of former St. Anne pastor
And, some information relayed to me about Father Couture testimony at the trial:
(1) The Assistant Crown attorney conducted a brilliant cross examination;
(2) Father Couture often responded to statements posed buy the Crown with “That’s what you say”
For example, when the Crown said that Bishop Fabbro said that Father Couture had acted outside diocesan policy, Couture replied: “That’s what you say”;
(3) Father Couture’s bank and Visa statements showed that he deposited monies into what I will call the bogus account and then made payments on credit card for same amount. For example, in one instance Father Couture deposited $4,500 into the bogus account in $100 and $50 bills, and then made a $4,500 payment or deposit to his VISA account;
(4) Monies from the rental of the church hall went into the bogus account;
(5) Father Couture has claimed that he used that bogus account to give monies to the poor and needy. When asked by Tom Meehan in cross-examination if kept copies of the monies he allegedly doled out, he answered “No.”
(6) A Mrs. Cocco, a female parishioner, gave a cheque for $8,00 to the church. $3,000 of that monies went to the church; the other $5,000 was deposited into the bogus account. There was no receipt issued for the cheque. According to Father Couture, Mrs. Cocco didn’t want one.
(7) There was mention of a $10,00 bequest. $1,000 of that bequest went to Masses, the other $9,000 went into the bogus account
(8) Father Couture apparently set up a similar bogus account when he was Pastor of St. Patrick’s in London, Ontario. When he was asked under cross-examination if he had set up the same type of account at St. Patrick’s as he set up at Ste. Anne’s in Tecumseh he replied “I don’t want to answer that.”
When Meehan asked Father Couture if he thought that since he had gotten away with it at St. Pat’s he could do it at Ste. Annes, Couture’s response? “I’m not going to answer that”;
(9) He admitted to his lawyer, Patrick Ducharme, that he, Couture, has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
(10) When Meehan asked him what his salary is for, and referenced a $1,000 payment for groceries for he and his mother, Father Couture replied “I do not wish to answer that.”
(11) Apparently it’s a little fuzzy, and those who have been in that Windsor courtroom know how poor the acoustics are, but there was perhaps some indication that in at least some cases Father Couture was given money to pay the altar servers but the altar servers never received it. If that indeed was the testimony, then the jury heard it.
(12) All of his travel expenses came from his private account. The amount was listed as in the order of $56,000.
(13) There were about 20 people in the courtroom the day Father Couture took the witness stand.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, 09 December 2015! I encourage those who can do so to attend and catch the details of closing arguments for both sides. It sounds as though defence may be planning to pull in a defence based on the claim that Father Couture suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder? If indeed that’s why he brought that into the trial – why else? – I would love to hear how he argues that as a rationale for either (a)_ setting up a bogus bank account, and/or (b) theft of parish monies, and/or (c) deceiving parishioners.
Please keep Father Couture’s former parishioners in your prayers.
Former youth volunteer for the Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan Nathan Labatt has a court date tomorrow (Monday, 07 December 2015) :
07 December 2015: 10 am, Humboldt courthouse, Humboldt, Sask (805 8th Avenue)
Please keep an eye out for media coverage on the outcome. And please keep the complaints and their families in your prayers.
Ex-priest and convicted child molester Donald Grecco is back in court on new sex abuse charges on Tuesday 08 December 2015;
08 December 2015: Cayuga court house (55 Munsee St. N., Cayuga, Ontario)
Please keep the complainant in your prayers
I have a little information regarding Olmos park where Canadian Oblate priest Father Rocky Grimard was ‘caught’ – must get supper on the table now so will post tomorrow.
Enough for now,