Costs of DUP advisor’s trial are revealed

PACEMAKER BELFAST 3/11/2015
David McConaghie arrives at Craigavon Court on Tuesday.
The  former aide to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP David Simpson,  was convicted for voyeurism,  He is on bail after his lawyers lodged an appeal against his conviction.
Picture Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 3/11/2015 David McConaghie arrives at Craigavon Court on Tuesday. The former aide to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP David Simpson, was convicted for voyeurism, He is on bail after his lawyers lodged an appeal against his conviction. Picture Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The trial of a former DUP adviser who was convicted of voyeurism after he placed a hidden camera in a constituency office toilet cost the public purse £5,673 in legal aid payments.

David McConaghie, a former senior adviser to Upper Bann MP David Simpson (who alerted police to what had been discovered and testified against his former employee in court), was convicted of voyeurism eight months ago.

After a failed appeal by the one-time prominent member of the Independent Orange Order and the Caleb Foundation, McConaghie began a three-month jail sentence in December.

At the time, the judge told McConaghie: “The court expresses its revulsion toward your behaviour. You have shown no remorse.”

A Freedom of Information request reveals that the defence case cost taxpayers £5,673.

Proceedings in the magistrates’ court involved a solicitor whose fee was £2,349, and a barrister, whose fee was £1,451. The Courts Service said that the payments were “standard fees”. The case was then appealed to the county court, where a solicitor was paid £1,354 and a barrister was paid £519.