Belfast Telegraph

Bail for Northern Ireland woman charged with stealing £61k from pensioner

By Paul Higgins

A Co Down woman has appeared in court accused of stealing more than £60,000 from a pensioner.

Janet Ochiltree (55), from the Ballyward Road, Ballyward, faces two counts of stealing cash and credit totalling £61,787 from the bank accounts of Anne Lindsay.

It has been alleged that despite being in a position where she would have been expected to safeguard the interests of Ms Lindsay, she "failed to provide her with the full amount of pension to which she was entitled" on dates between May 2, 2007 and December 1, 2012.

A prosecuting lawyer at Lisburn Magistrates Court submitted that "on the basis of the papers there is a case to answer".

The alleged fraudster was told she had the right to comment on the charge or call evidence before the court but she opted to remain silent.

Returning the case to Craigavon Crown Court, District Judge Rosie Watters released Ochiltree on her own bail of £500 and ordered her to appear before the higher court for her arraignment on September 12.

Having heard that Ochiltree earns around £200 per week, the judge granted legal aid and certified for a junior barrister.

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