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Bailed refused to man accused of duping NI woman out of £16,000

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An alleged fraudster arrested in Wales at the weekend and accused of duping £16,000 out of a Northern Ireland woman in a financial investment scheme was refused bail yesterday

An alleged fraudster arrested in Wales at the weekend and accused of duping £16,000 out of a Northern Ireland woman in a financial investment scheme was refused bail yesterday

An alleged fraudster arrested in Wales at the weekend and accused of duping £16,000 out of a Northern Ireland woman in a financial investment scheme was refused bail yesterday

An alleged fraudster arrested in Wales at the weekend and accused of duping £16,000 out of a Northern Ireland woman in a financial investment scheme was refused bail yesterday.

Appearing at Lisburn Magistrates Court via videolink from police custody, 62-year-old John Kelleher was charged with a single count of fraud.

Kelleher, of no fixed abode, faces a charge of fraud by false representation, between January 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

The sum involved is £16,135.

Giving evidence to the court, a detective constable said he believed he could connect Kelleher to the charge and that police had objections to bail due to fears the alleged fraudster would abscond or commit further offences.

He told the court how the alleged fraud related to financial investments where Kelleher was given the money to invest but afterwards "no documentation was given and there was no correspondence at all".

The investigation started in May 2017, said the officer, adding that he had spoken to Kelleher "several times but he refused to produce himself".

The court heard that Kelleher was subject to a European Arrest Warrant and the detective revealed that, according to his investigations, Kelleher used "the same MO (modus operandi) for offences in the south" where an alleged victim was duped out of €60,000.

With no solicitor instructed, Kelleher represented himself and asked Deputy District Judge Liam McStay to allow him "a couple of weeks" to find a lawyer and to "adjourn the case to Cardiff".

Refusing to free Kelleher, Mr McStay said his arguments were not "sufficient for me to grant bail" so he was refusing bail on the grounds of the risk of further offences being committed "and flight risks".

Remanding Kelleher into custody to appear at Craigavon Magistrates Court via videolink on September 18, the judge told the alleged conman: "You would be well advised to get on to a solicitor as soon as possible."

Belfast Telegraph