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Man pleads not guilty to stealing cash atLarne British Legion

By Nevin Farrell

A man accused of stealing £2,700 in an alleged "breach of trust" case at a Co Antrim Royal British Legion is denying the charges.

Kenneth MacDowell (57), whose address was previously given as Circular Road in Larne, faces five charges of stealing cash from the town's Legion in 2014 and 2015.

He is also accused of the burglary of the Royal British Legion office in Larne's Point Street.

MacDowell's address is now listed as Dalharco Avenue in Patna near the Scottish town of Ayr.

He appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded not guilty.

He is accused of stealing £700 from the Larne Legion between March 9 and April 1, 2014.

On February 28, 2015, he is accused of stealing £589.65 cash and on March 4 two years ago it is alleged he stole £194.35 cash.

The fourth charge relates to £280.80 cash allegedly stolen on April 2, 2015, and the fifth is that he stole £140 in cash from the Legion on March 18, 2015.

It is also alleged that on April 12, 2015, having entered as a trespasser an office within the Royal British Legion, Point Street, Larne, he stole two cheques.

A prosecutor said the case involved a total amount of £2,700 and was an alleged "breach of trust" matter.

The prosecutor said when all aggravating factors were considered a directing officer with the Public Prosecution Service decided the case should be dealt with in the magistrates court.

In court MacDowell elected to have the case dealt with at the magistrates court.

However, District Judge Peter King said it was an alleged breach of trust case involving a charity and he directed it should be sent to the Crown Court.

The case was adjourned for a preliminary enquiry - the legal step to send it to the Crown Court - at the end of March.

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