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Solicitor accused of stealing more than £70,000 from dead woman’s estate

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A former Banbridge solicitor has been accused of stealing more than £70,000 from the estate of deceased woman.

Paul Downey, of Mount Royal, was due to appear in Banbridge Magistrates’ Court – sitting in Newry – this morning (Thursday) to answer the litany of charges against him.

However, the defendant’s legal representative applied for an adjournment in the case due to what they cited as “medical issues”.

The 62-year-old is charged with theft, nine counts of fraud by abuse of position, and four counts of false accounting.

The one charge of theft relates to an allegation Downey stole credit to the value of £73,844.90 belonging to the executors of the estate of the deceased woman.

The defendant was also accused of forging cheques to the value of £11,000 and £17,000, while falsifying the stub records.

Further charges relate to the alleged transfer of more than £20,000, on multiple occasions, over a period of almost a year between July 26, 2013 and June 8, 2014.

Defence counsel stated: “We had put the prosecution on notice that we would be making an adjournment application.

“There is a medical issue after papers were served last week; these are quite technical.”

The case was adjourned by agreement to September 9 with a view to fixing a preliminary enquiry on that date.

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