Defense Seeking Conditional Discharge For Priest

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Former Tecumseh priest Robert Couture leaves court after jury finds him guilty of theft over $5000, December 10, 2015. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The Superior Court heard sentencing submissions in the case of Father Robert Couture today.

In December a jury found Couture guilty of theft over $5,000 after reviewing evidence that he stole between $170,000 to $234,000 from Ste. Anne’s parish in Tecumseh.

Crown attorney Tom Meehan is seeking a 15-month custodial sentence, plus two years probation because of the amount stolen and the breach of trust involved in the crime. Meehan is also seeking Couture pay $178,624 to the insurance company that paid the church for its losses.

Defense Patrick Ducharme would like to see a conditional discharge that would leave Couture with no criminal record. Ducharme says this would be a fair sentence as Couture maintains his innocence and the amount of money lost cannot be exactly determined.

The judge will issue his sentence on October 3, 2016 at 2pm.

1 Response to Defense Seeking Conditional Discharge For Priest

  1. Sylvia says:

    Yes, I am sure Father Couture’s lawyer and hence Father Couture would like a conditional sentence and therefore no criminal record. What criminal wouldn’t? Do the crime without the time. BUT, what surprises me is that Mr. Ducharme presumably claims that that would be fair because, according to the article, Couture ‘maintains his innocence and the amount of money lost cannot be exactly determined.’

    Father Couture opted to go with a trial by jury. The jury did not believe he is innocent. He was convicted.

    And what in the name of all that’s good and holy has the amount of money ‘lost’ (read stolen) got to do with whether or not he spends time behind bars for his crimes?

    Ridiculous. Truly ridiculous.

    This is a man in his mid 40s – and a priest no less – who already has a hefty $350,000 tucked away for retirement, and who flatly refused to provide an income tax return to prove his income; That information, he told the Crown, is “private.”

    What more can I say? I pray that justice is done.

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