Father David Cooper admitted that he had an affair with Nicola Gibson, the woman who died in a fire at her apartment four years ago.
Father Cooper, a Catholic priest, took the stand in a Coroner’s Court inquest into the death of Ms Gibson, describing his relationship with the deceased as “abnormal” – an understatement considering his vow of chastity.
Cooper also admitted that Ms Gibson had made him a beneficiary on her life insurance policy and signed her pension over to him.
Ms Gibson was found dead following a fire at her Faith Avenue apartment on the morning of July 21, 2006.
After she died, Archbishop Patrick Pinder requested that Father Cooper sign the deceased woman’s pension over to Ms Gibson’s mother.
Father Cooper claimed he had visited Ms Gibson the night of her death but says he can not remember how he got back home to Holy Family Church where he was the rector.
He said the last thing he remembers is sitting in the deceased woman’s apartment, on the bedroom floor, eating a bowl of souse.
The disgraced priest said that after the meal, he “assumed” he drove himself home. However, he also said that, later, while rummaging through his garage, he noticed that the cars he drove were not parked the way he usually parked them. He said this made him believe that perhaps he had not driven himself home from Ms Gibson’s apartment the night of the fire.
The next thing he does remember is waking up in Princess Margaret Hospital, where he was being treated after fire fighters allegedly pulled him from a blaze at the rectory.
Coroner William Campbell is presiding over the inquest which was adjourned until Thursday. Fr Cooper is being represented by attorneys Alfred Sears and Jeffrey Lloyd. Godfrey “Pro” Pinder represents Gibson’s mother Roevilla Williamson.