Summons for ‘crucial witness’

editorial image

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) lawyer revealed to North Antrim Magistrates’ Court in Coleraine last Thursday they have issued a summons to have a “crucial witness” come to court in relation to the case of a woman facing allegations of stealing money from ‘Help for Heroes’ charity collection boxes.

Deborah Campbell (33), of Redthorn Court, Coleraine, had previously pleaded not guilty to seven charges - six of theft and one of fraud by false representation and a contest date was set for January 23.

However, the case was adjourned to February 11 after a prosecution lawyer said a “crucial witness” - the owner of a shop where a charity box had been placed - had made a withdrawal statement earlier this month.

The prosecution lawyer said the directing officer at the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) had reviewed the file and they require a summons to have the witness to attend court.

The prosecutor said because the case involves a charity the PPS consider it is in the public interest to issue the summons and adjourn the case. She said a summons has been posted to the police to serve on the witness but that the PSNI said they had not yet received it.

The court also heard that a representative from ‘Help the Heroes’ had travelled from England for the case on Thursday but that their evidence has now been agreed.

The accused is charged with stealing Help for Heroes merchandise to the value of £202.50 between April 3, 2012 and July 29, 2013. She is further charged with dishonestly making a false representation to collect money on behalf of Help for Heroes by placing Help for Heroes collection boxes in Ballysally News shop, Ballysally, Coleraine, with the intention of make a gain for herself or another or to cause a loss or expose the shop to a risk of a loss. Campbell faces five other theft charges relating to the theft of unknown quantities of money from Help for Heroes collection boxes on dates in 2012 and 2013.