People in Yorkshire have been warned to be on the lookout for a bogus priest who cheated a hotel out of 183 and deceived two parish priests into allowing him to say Mass in their churches.
The man, described by police as about 55, five feet five inches tall of slight build with greying, receding hair and an Irish accent, celebrated Mass at St Mary's Church, Helmsley, shortly after leaving a local hotel without paying his bill.
Fr Alban Rimmer, parish priest of Our Lady and St Chad, Kirkbymoorside, where the man also said Mass, said that the man had called on him claiming he belonged to a missionary society in Dublin. "I had no suspicion at all that he wasn't a priest. He played the part very well," said Fr Rimmer.
The man is also believed to have been operating in the Stockton area and in Middlesborough. Fr Raymond Charlton, secretary of Bishop McClean of Middlesbrough who also met the man, described him as "very charming."