A Co Armagh woman has appeared in court accused of stealing more than £5,000 from a group set up to help young female stroke survivors.
Valerie Dale, 43, of Cottage Hill, Lurgan is accused of stealing a total of £5,113 from a group called Young Women after Stroke – for whom she was a co-ordinator for – on dates between November 1, 2015 and April 1, 2017.
The defendant, facing three charges of theft, one count of false accounting and two counts of fraud by abuse of position, gave mixed pleas at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Wednesday.
Dale pled guilty to the theft of £2,540 and the single charge of false accounting where she “destroyed, defaced, concealed or falsified a certain account record or document” for her own gain.
However, she denied stealing another £2,573 on two separate occasions, as well as the two fraud charges levelled against her.
Defence counsel asked for legal aid stating that Dale had not told her employers about this ongoing court matter.
District Judge Bernie Kelly said “she should have done so a long time ago”.
She went on to state this would only be granted if the defendant was suspended without pay or with reduced pay.
Judge Kelly added: “I can’t believe she is still involved in a job like this around vulnerable people”.
The case will return on June 27 for a date to be fixed for contest.
‘Young Women After Stroke’ is the only group of its kind in the UK, and was set up to help women regain their confidence and independence following a stroke.