Belfast Telegraph

Man who stole cash while working at Queen's University to pay loan shark given suspended sentence

A man who stole cash while working at Queen's University in Belfast to repay a loan shark was given a six month suspended jail term today.

Neil Millar claimed he had been plunged into debt because jury service resulted in him not being paid.

The 29-year-old, of Ardgart Place, Newtownabbey, took a total of £320 during three theft incidents last July.

He was carrying out security duties at the university when the money belonging to another employee was taken from a safe.

Millar later pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by an employee.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard today that he made a full confession when arrested.

A prosecution lawyer said: "He stated he took the money to replay a loan shark from whom he borrowed money because he was on jury service and hadn't been paid.

"However, he was late in paying the money back and said he was intimidated by the lender who demanded more in interest."

Millar, who did not identify the loan shark, claimed he panicked and didn't know what to do.

His lawyer accepted it was a serious breach of trust case.

But a contention that full admissions had been made was challenged by Deputy District Judge Joe Rice.

"He didn't identify the loan shark. Full admissions are when you name people," Mr Rice pointed out.

"He seems to relate all his difficulties back to a period of jury service."

Imposing a six months jail sentence, suspended for two years, the judge told Millar his offence was "very, very mean".

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