A JAILED retired police officer who took more than £90,000 from the church he worked at has been ordered to pay it back.

Peter McNamara, 71, of Asenby near Thirsk, was found guilty of two counts of theft at York Crown Court in October 2018 and received a two-year jail term.

But a judge at York Crown Court has since ordered McNamara pay £103,711.56 back to the Diocese of Leeds, who are responsible for the North Yorkshire church.

McNamara had previously worked for Greater Manchester Police, but was an administrator at St Robert's Church and the attached conference centre from May 2007 to October 2014.

Jonathan Rowland of North Yorkshire Police said: "Whilst securing a conviction and sentence is vital in these cases, so is the follow up work that goes on after criminal court proceedings.

"North Yorkshire Police, wherever possible, will seek to use available legislation in order to redress the financial damage done to a victim.

"The order placed on Peter McNamara, will ensure he is prevented from having any financial gain from his shocking crime of stealing from the local church.

"The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is a powerful tool which allows us to demonstrate to the court how a convicted criminal has benefited financially from their crime, and then ask the court to order the money is paid back.

"Our Financial Investigators work hard to ensure that in every case where it is possible for money to be paid back, it is put before a Judge for consideration."