Appeal Dismissed for Former Tecumseh Priest


A former Tecumseh priest sentenced to jail for theft has had his appeal dismissed.

In December 2015, Robert Couture, 53, had been found guilty of theft over $5,000 and was sentenced to 10 months in jail along with a restitution order of $75,000.

Couture appealed the conviction and sentence but the Ontario Court of Appeal has dismissed both.

Couture had argued the judge had erred in instructing the jury in the case, but the higher court disagreed.

When it came to appealing the restitution order, Couture argued the issue of compensation should be the subject of civil proceedings and there was inadequate factual basis to support the restitution order.

Again, the appeal court disagreed saying Couture's crime involved a breach of trust and he used his position as a priest to misappropriate donations intended for St. Anne's Parish for his own benefit.

The trial judge found that over eight years, Couture had stolen at least $75,000.

Although the court allowed Couture to appeal the sentence, the appeal for the sentence was dismissed.