Northern Ireland

Man ordered to stand trial on criminal property charges

Accused faces 13 charges under the Proceeds of Crime Act

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Laganside court (Liam McBurney/PA)

A north Belfast man has been ordered to stand trial at the city’s Crown Court on criminal property charges running to tens of thousands of pounds.

Christopher Savage (25), of Brookfield Walk off the Crumlin Road, appeared in the dock at Belfast Magistrates Court for a preliminary enquiry into his case.

Savage faces 13 charges under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

He has been charged with that on dates between September 1, 2017 and January 16, 2018, he entered into an arrangement to acquire criminal property.

Savage is also accused of possessing criminal property totalling £82,312.32p and converting criminal property in the sum of £56,227.38p.

The defendant confirmed to the court clerk that he had received a legal file on his case and that he understood the charges against him.

He declined to say anything in answer to the charges and he also declined to call any witnesses for his case at this stage.

Defence barrister Joe Lindsay said he had no contrary submissions to the prosecution case against Savage.

District Judge Steven Keown said: “I am satisfied that there is a case to answer here. The case will be returned to Belfast Crown Court for an arraignment hearing on a date to be fixed.’’

The district judge released Savage on his own bail of £500. Legal aid was granted for one counsel for the forthcoming Crown Court hearing.