John Fitzmaurice wins appeal against prison sentence

A former Catholic parish priest who stole $149,000 from the church has won his appeal against sentence in the High Court and will serve his time on home detention.

But Father John William Fitzmaurice, 57, was refused bail pending his appeal after the jail term was imposed in the Christchurch District Court on February 27, so he has already served two weeks in prison.

The appeal was heard in the High Court at Christchurch before Justice Graham Panckhurst today.

Fitzmaurice, who worked as a priest in the Christchurch diocese for 34 years, had admitted eight charges of dishonestly using documents and obtaining money by deception.


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