Police officer with ‘Stormont Estate’ address admits perverting the course of justice

Two men have appeared at Dungannon Court charged with murder (Peter Morrison/PA)
Dungannon Magistrates Court

A police officer with an address of the Stormont Estate has admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice.

Appearing in the dock of Dungannon Crown Court was Luke McCabe (32) who pleaded guilty to intending to pervert the course of justice, by emailing a forged letter to police stating he was insured to drive a Jaguar car on 9 September 2022 which was in a road traffic collision, when in fact he was not covered by the policy.

Before the charge was read the court clerk enquired if his address is Stormont Estate Management, Stormont Estate in Belfast, which McCabe confirmed it is.

No further details surrounding the circumstances of the alleged offending were disclosed during the short hearing.

Defence counsel suggested the matter would benefit from pre-sentence reports which was agreed by Judge Fiona Bagnall.

McCabe was remanded on £500 bail to attend for sentencing on 22 March.

It remains unclear as to why the address of Stormont Estate Management was used as police officers and personnel can benefit from using PSNI headquarters by default.

The estate falls under the remit of the Department of Finance who were asked if McCabe is or was a member of staff and if Stormont Estates Management were aware the address was being used in this way.

As the case came to court by way of first appearance indictable summons and having been committed to crown court for trial, Stormont Estate Management remained the stipulated bail address -despite not being residential.

Following a hearing in January the Department of Finance said it was unaware of the Stormont Estate Management address being used within the noted court case, adding the individual was not employed by, or connected to, the Department of Finance Stormont Management Unit.

“The Department has made contact with the NI Courts and Tribunal Service to alert them to this matter,” a spokesman said.

Despite this, no mention was made of this in court and Stormont Estate Management remains McCabe’s bail address.

Meanwhile the PSNI were asked to clarify his current employment status and a spokesperson  confirmed, “This individual remains suspended.”