A parish priest is facing a lifetime ban and loss of his career with the Church of England after he was awakened from a drunken stupor in a courtyard in the middle of the night and brawled with police and emergency workers, reports CourtNewsUK.
According to a police report, Gareth Jones, 36, sought diplomatic immunity and bizarrely claimed that he represented the Pope, stating, “I’m from the Vatican, you’re f*cked” after a night of heavy drinking that included wine, gin, beer and vodka.
Jones is currently suspended from his position at St Mary and the Virgin in Great Ilford which is part of the Church of England — not the Catholic church.
Police state that when a paramedic attempted to help Jones, who sprawled on the ground on Charing Cross Road, he warned the emergency worker, “I am going to f*ck you up.”
Two police officers attempted to lend assistance as the married father of one punched, kicked and spit on the emergency worker — with one officer taking a kick to the face.
According to prosecutor Edward Aydin, Jones then attempted to escape arrest by stating, “I have diplomatic immunity,” and responded to a question of “which embassy,” by replying: “The Vatican, you’re f*cked.”
Jones was eventually restrained and taken to a local jail where he reportedly told the authorities, “I am utterly ashamed and sorry for any harm that I have caused,” for his actions after a night of drinking and nightclubbing.
At his hearing before a magistrate it was revealed that, prior to becoming a priest, Jones had a criminal history that included making a false bomb threat, marijuana possession, fraud and criminal damage.
According to his attorney, Dominic Hockley, “Mr Jones told me he had a misspent youth.”
The parish priest now faces a different court within the church that could dismiss him from his position.