Man facing Rope Bridge fraud charges accepts police cautio


A BUS firm employee accused of defrauding bus tourists by giving false information regarding the admission prices they were required to pay to get into Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge had the charge left on the books at Antrim Crown Court on Tuesday when he accepted a police caution instead.

Alan Barry (57) of Kiln Park, Ballyclare, had been alleged to have dishonestly made a false representation to passengers of McComb’s Coach Travel as to the admission price to the National Trust landmark.

He was further accused of fraud by abuse of his position as an employee of McComb’s that on dates over a four year period between 2008 and 2012 he charged cigarettes from Ballyness Service Station, Bushmills, to a company fuel card. That charge was also left on the books.

At the same court hearing, another employee of McComb’s - Mark Coulter (46), of Burton Avenue, Dundonald, Belfast - pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud by abuse of his position by obtaining cash, petrol and drinks from the same service station and charging them to a company fuel card over the same four year period.

Coulter’s defence lawyer Francis Rafferty asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared for his client.

At the same hearing, the owner of Ballyness Service Station, Johnathan Morgan (56), of Priestland Road, Bushmills, pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation.

He is accused of making false representations to Maxol Ltd which he knew were untrue or misleading that he had supplied diesel fuel for coaches when he had supplied cigarettes, cash, petrol and drinks.

His defence barrister Michael Smyth said the amount of the loss is being disputed.

He asked for the matter to be adjourned to next month to allow discussions regarding the case to take place.

Coulter and Morgan’s cases were adjourned to April and they were released on continuing bail.