Northern Ireland news

Former principal to stand trial on fraud charges

Stanley Poots is to stand trial on allegations of fraud. Picture by Declan Roughan

A retired headmaster who was awarded an MBE for services to education is to stand trial on allegations of fraud.

Stanley Poots (71) was principal of Dromara PS for more than 40 years.

Mr Poots worked for 46 years as a teacher. He began his career at Dromore Central PS before moving to Dromara PS.

Lisburn Magistrates Court heard yesterday that Mr Poots', whose address was given as C/O Dromara PS, faces a total of 25 offences.

These include 10 of forgery, five of fraud by false representation, three of fraud by abusing the position he held at the school, four of false accounting, two counts of using a false instrument and possessing an article to commit fraud.

The charges are alleged to have been committed on various dates between October 20 2006 and November 3 2011.

It is alleged that Mr Poots forged a annual salary review, cashed cheques, created false invoices, falsified an expenditure sheet and a Big Lottery Fund application form.

Mr Poots, the former president of the Ulster Teachers Union, confirmed that he was aware of the charges and that he did not object to the preliminary enquiry committal hearing.

He was released on his own bail of £500. District Judge Rosie Watters returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court and ordered him to appear there on February 4 for arraignment.

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