Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Sports body finance chief on theft charge

A former finance chief at a prestigious sports organisation is due in court next month on a charge of stealing thousands of pounds from the body.

Richard Nash, from Newtownabbey, is accused of theft from Sports Institute Northern Ireland during his time as a senior employee. Nash was Finance and Corporate Services Manager at the Institute, which provides specialist support to top athletes.

He is scheduled to appear at Belfast Crown Court in late October to answer the theft accusation.

The Institute has also taken separate civil court proceedings against him, in a bid to recover allegedly stolen money.

Documentation from the civil case - released to this newspaper - refers to a total of £58,939.

A PSNI spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph that a 49-year-old man has been the subject of a police probe into alleged theft from the Sports Institute.

She said this man was first brought before a court in November last year, after which a file on the case was prepared by detectives and sent to the Public Prosecution Service.

The Court Service has confirmed that Nash is listed to appear at Belfast Crown Court on October 24.

A spokesperson for the Sports Institute Northern Ireland said they could not make any further comment in relation to the case "as this is matter of ongoing legal proceedings".

The Institute is a partnership between the Sports Council for Northern Ireland, and the University of Ulster.

With the help of significant lottery funding, it aims to produce medal-winning performances through the provision of top-class coaching and training facilities. It is based at the University's Jordanstown campus in Newtownabbey.

Nash could not be contacted for comment.

Court papers have listed his address as Jordanstown Road, Newtownabbey.

The Belfast Telegraph called at the house and was told that Nash had moved in recent months.

The Sports Council is understood to have reported the case to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Northern Ireland Audit Office.

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