Former DUP office manager pleads guilty to fraud charges

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A former manager of the Democratic Unionist Party office in Derry has pleaded guilty to 23 charges of fraud by false representation at the city’s Magistrates Court.

William Irwin with an address at Duncastle Road, Newbuildings, faced accusations that he made false claims to the Northern Ireland Assembly for payment for oil heating expenditure to the DUP constituency office at Ebrington Terrace in the Waterside when the oil was in fact being delivered to his home, causing the public purse to be charged.

All of the charges related to a time period between March, 2009 and February 2014.

When the accusations were put to the defendant his legal counsel entered a plea of guilty to all of the counts. It emerged in court that the total amount in question was approximately amounted to £8,900.

District Judge, Barney McElholm said that a pre-sentence report would not be prepared and that it will be presented at Court on April 1.

Addressing the defendant Mr McElholm said he should co-operate fully with the Probation Service with regard to the preparation of the pre-sentence report and should inform them of any change of address in the interim period.