A FORMER Barnsley vicar has been jailed for 32 months today after stealing from church members over a six-year period.

Simon Reynolds, 50, of Upper Church Lane in Farnham, Surrey, carried out the thefts while he was working at the Church of England and the Parochial Church Council at All Saint’s Church in Darton.

He stole money from members of the church between March 2007 and March 2013.

Reynolds appeared at court on Thursday, July 23, but fled when the jury were sent out to deliberate their verdict.

The former vicar was convicted in his absence and a large scale search operation was launched.

Reynolds handed himself in four days later at a Sheffield police station.

He was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to 30 months for four counts of theft and two months for breach of bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Whittaker said: “He was in a position of trust when he stole from members of the community and abused their good faith which has been reflected in the sentence.

“Simon Reynolds' calculated and despicable lies have resulted in him spending a lengthy time behind bars, giving him time to reflect on his actions.”