Ballymena Court: Woman is accused of fraud in relation to sums of more than £20,000

Barclays Bank in Ballymena. Picture: Google Maps.

A WOMAN is accused of four charges of fraud by false representation involving alleged withdrawals and attempted withdrawals in relation to sums totaling more than £20,000 at Barclays Bank branches in Ballymena, Belfast, Lisburn and Newtownards.

Lisa Johnston (31), with an address listed as Belmont Road in Belfast but now at Glendowan Grove in the Lagmore area near the city, appeared via video link from a solicitor’s office at Ballymena Magistrates Court, sitting in Antrim, on Thursday.

The charges relate to dates in January 2019.

The defendant is accused of dishonestly making false representations to an employee of the bank that during the withdrawal of £4,800 at Barclays in Church Street, Ballymena, she represented that she was an account holder and was entitled to debit the sum.

She faces a similar allegation regarding the sum of £3,000 in relation to Barclays at Castle Place in Belfast and a third allegation regarding the withdrawal of £9,000 from an account at Barclays at High Street in Newtownards.

The defendant is also accused in relation to the ‘attempted withdrawal’ of £4,000 from Barclays at Bow Street in Lisburn.

During a Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send a case to the Crown Court – a prosecutor submitted that on the basis of the papers before the court there was a case to answer.

A defence lawyer had no contrary submissions. The defendant had the case sent to Antrim Crown Court for arraignment in December.

She was released on her bail of £500.

During a bid for legal aid, which was granted along with a defence certificate for one counsel, a defence lawyer said the defendant has “just commenced” work as a self-employed courier and “will make £1 a parcel” and he said it was estimated she could make £250-£300 a week in that job.

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