Belfast Telegraph

Ex-boss of USPCA in court to deny charges he defrauded charity

By Paul Higgins

The former chief executive of the USPCA has denied defrauding the animal charity.

Standing in the dock of Newry Crown Court, Stephen Philpott confirmed his identity before the charges were put to him for the first time.

He entered not guilty pleas to each of the three counts against him.

Mr Philpott (54), from Ashgrove Road in Newry, is accused of attempting to cause criminal damage to a house and its contents, the theft of rental monies which belonged to the USPCA for a property on Clogharevan Road in Bessbrook, and fraud by abusing his position within the charity.

All are alleged to have been committed on dates between January 1, 2005 and November 28, 2014.

The particulars of the fraud charges allege that Mr Philpott obtained rental payments but "failed to account for the said payments and failed to bring notice of the said payments to the attention of the USPCA, with the intention, by means of the abuse of that position to make a gain for yourself or another or to cause loss to the USPCA or to expose the USPCA to a risk of a loss".

Following the short arraignment, Her Honour Judge McReynolds freed Mr Philpott on continuing bail and scheduled his trial for January next year.

As part of his bail conditions Mr Philpott is not allowed to make contact with any past or present employees of the USPCA directly, indirectly or through a third party.

He is also to reside at his home address.

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