A Parish minister from Dunmurry in Nothern Ireland has appeared in court after being charged with stealing £10,000 from his church and hospital groups.
Reverend Adrian McLaughlin, 48, appeared at Lisburn Magistrates Court on Friday and according to the Belfast Telegraph understood the six charges of fraud brought against him.
Rev McLaughlin, who is currently on "gardening leave" from his role at St Colman’s Parish Church, faces five counts relating to the church and one relating to money intended for the Royal Victoria Hospital Liver Group, on a selection of dates between 15th October 2016 and 1st October 2018.
The prosecution listed the number of offences Rev McLaughlin is accused of, including writing out a £10,000 cheque to himself; taking a £1,000 donation for himself, taking £520 from two complainants who had made donations and one who paid to use the church hall.
Rev McLaughlin is also accused of pocketing donations from a funeral held at the church, which were intended to go to the Royal Victoria Hospital Liver Unit Group.
The prima facie case was based from papers and statements submitted by a PPS lawyer against the minister which was conceded by defence counsel Aaron Thompson.
According to the Belfast Telegraph the court did not go into any facts of the case and Rev McLaughlin declined to comment on the charges or to call evidence on his own behalf.
The minister then freed himself on his own bail of £500 and District Judge Rosie Watters returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court.
The next hearing has been scheduled for 6th December.