Belfast Telegraph

Woman charged with oil theft

A mature law student accused of stealing oil from a neighbour's tank claims she was set up, the High Court has heard.

Joan Kernan (52) faces charges of theft, criminal damage and burglary with intent to steal over the alleged raid in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Prosecutors said a tank owned by an elderly man who lives near her Winters Gardens home was found cut open and the grass saturated in oil.

A garden shed and greenhouse were both forced open and items strewn about during the incident on August 24.

The court heard that a funnel was discovered in Kernan's oil tank, with a watering can and chair located nearby.

She was allegedly drunk when police spoke to her about the suspected theft.

Seeking bail, a defence barrister acknowledged issues with alcohol but described Kernan as an “ambitious woman” who is studying law at Queen's University, Belfast.

Blaine Nugent stressed that his client denied stealing the oil and wanted to return to complete her degree. He said: “She will say this is in actual fact a set-up.”

Lord Justice Girvan granted Kernan temporary bail for four weeks on condition that she reports daily to police and keeps off drink.

Belfast Telegraph

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