Psychic has fraud conviction quashed
One of Northern Ireland's best-known psychics has won an appeal against being found guilty of fraud offences at a care home.
Senior judges declared Patrick Doak's convictions for false accounting unsafe after hearing evidence from a former colleague who countersigned money sheets at the former Owenvale Court residential home in Belfast.
The 52-year-old spiritualist, who always protested his innocence, said outside court: "I have had my character and my career destroyed."
The charges, involving less than £100 in total, dated back to September 2006 when he managed facilities run at the time by St John of God.
Money was regularly entrusted to senior staff on behalf of residents at the home on the Springfield Road.
Mr Doak, formerly of Lagmore Meadows in Dunmurry, had been found guilty last year on five counts of false accounting.
He received a one-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. But his lawyers went to the Court of Appeal yesterday in a bid to overturn the convictions, arguing that he was wrongly found to have acted dishonestly in dealing with new balance sheets created to correct staff errors.
A residential worker who co-signed the sheets but never testified at the trial gave evidence on his behalf.
The prosecution accepted her account raised issues which could potentially have gone before the jury.