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Officer denies theft of boots, speakers and aftershave from the PSNI

By Nevin Farrell

Published 23/04/2016

John Martin Gallagher leaves Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday
John Martin Gallagher leaves Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday

A police officer charged with stealing from the PSNI appeared in court yesterday.

John Martin Gallagher (36), whose address was listed on court papers as c/o PSNI Coleraine, is accused of theft.

Items allegedly taken include a pair of UGG boots, two sets of Dr Dre speakers, two sets of MAC makeup and one bottle of aftershave "belonging to the Police Service of Northern Ireland".

The theft is alleged to have happened on October 18, 2014.

The accused was dressed in a black shirt, black tie and black suit when he appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

The defendant stood outside the dock and confirmed his name and date of birth.

In reply to a question from clerk of the court, Gallagher said he wished to have his case dealt with by a higher court.

A prosecutor asked for the case to be adjourned for a preliminary enquiry to be held, which is the legal step required to send the case forward to the Crown Court.

District Judge Liam McNally told the accused he noted he had elected for a trial and the prosecution had indicated they would be in a position to hold a preliminary enquiry in June.

A defence solicitor said that although his client was employed by the PSNI, he was making an application for legal aid because of outgoings including mortgage payments.

The judge said he would reserve making a ruling on legal aid until May so that PAYE statements from Gallagher's employer could be brought forward instead of bank statements. At a previous court hearing, the defence solicitor said that given the nature of the charge, the case was one that would bring his client's "livelihood to an end" should he be convicted.

The solicitor also told the previous hearing that he had been advised that a decision had been taken not to prosecute a former co-accused in Gallagher's case, and he wanted to know why that had happened and said he would be in touch with the Public Prosecution Service.

The lawyer additionally told the earlier court he would be taking legal steps that could involve a judicial review or an abuse of process application.

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