Northern Ireland news

Ex-NI Water employee took back-handers to overlook absence of car-wash meter

A FORMER member of NI Water staff has pleaded guilty to fraud through abuse of position, by twice requesting and receiving cash, in return for ignoring the absence of a meter in car wash premises.

Gary Smith (56) of The Beeches, Craigavon was previously accused of blackmailing the business owner by made unwarranted demands for cash, but this was replaced with the current charges.

Craigavon Magistrates Court heard on a date between October 2017 and January 2018, whilst occupying a position to safeguard the financial interests of NI Water, Smith dishonestly requested and received payment of £100 cash as consideration for overlooking the Portadown car washing business did not have a water meter on its premises.

The offence was repeated in February 2018, when a similar amount of cash was handed over.

District Judge Bernie Kelly remanded Smith on continuing bail to return for sentencing next month.

A spokesperson from NI Water said: "We can confirm Mr Smith is no longer an employee."

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