THE saga of a case against two men, who defrauded a village church, appears to have reached a conclusion through the courts.

A Proceeds of Crime hearing at Durham Crown Court heard Frank Pocock stole between £15,000 and £20,000 while treasurer of St Michael and All Angels Church, in Esh Village, near Durham.

But the 63-year-old, of Wilks Hill, in nearby Quebec, paid back £13,250 to the church following arrest.

He was given a 22-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 200 hours’ unpaid work, last September, after admitting theft and perverting the course of justice.

The court heard that his only realisable asset was a Mercedes C220 car, worth £1,749, but it is subject of a higher purchase agreement.

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, told the court the figures had been resolved, adding: “This case has had a long and treacherous journey through the courts.”

A nominal £1 confiscation order was, therefore, made by Judge Christopher Prince.

Co-accused Peter Taylor, 59, of Eslington Court, Gateshead, who helped “dispose” of the money, was last month ordered to repay £1,860.

He served a ten-month prison sentence after admitting fraud, perverting the course of justice and possession of criminal property.