Boys' Brigade captain accused of defrauding own group out of £30k
A Boys' Brigade captain has appeared in court accused of swindling £30,000 from the youth organisation in Co Down.
Standing in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates' Court, 54-year-old Robert David Morrow confirmed that he was aware of the 12 charges against him.
He did not object to the holding of a preliminary inquiry - the legal process necessary to refer a case to the Crown Court.
Morrow, from the Ballydorn Road in Killinchy, is charged with false accounting and committing fraud by abusing the position he held as captain of 1st Killinchy Boys' Brigade, eight counts of transferring criminal property and two of fraud by false representation, all alleged to have been committed between July 21, 2009, and September 21, 2011.
Morrow is alleged to have transferred £30,167.33 from the Boys' Brigade bank account at Killinchy Presbyterian Church to an account held in the names of R David and Thomas F Morrow.
The count of false accounting accuses Morrow of destroying financial documentation, while the two counts of fraud by false representation allege that Morrow claimed he was entitled, as captain, to receive gift aid payments totalling £4,240.32.
Six of the offences of transferring criminal property relate to a total of £30,000 being transferred into accounts held by Killinchy Community Youth Council.
None of the facts surrounding the allegations were opened in court yesterday, but a judge agreed with a prosecuting lawyer that there was a prima facie case for Morrow to answer.
The defendant declined the opportunity to comment on the charges, give evidence to the preliminary inquiry or call witnesses to give evidence.
Returning the case to Downpatrick Crown Court, Judge King freed Morrow on his own bail of £750 and ordered him to appear at the higher court for his arraignment on January 16.