Stole £4,000 from stroke group she ran

Valerie Dale, Stroke Association
Valerie Dale, Stroke Association

A 44-year-old woman who admitted stealing over £4,000 from a group set up to help young females who have survived strokes will be sentenced later this month at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

And she was warned not to take any comfort from the fact the court had ordered a report from the probation service as she still could face jail.

Valerie Dale, Cottage Hill, Lurgan, appeared last Wednesday at the local court and admitted five offences.

A charge was amended to read that between April 1, 2016, and February 28, 2017 she stole £1,500 belong to a group called the Young Women after Stroke.

Dale’s barrister indicated she would be pleading guilty to the offence.

At an earlier court sitting she had admitted stealing £2,540 from the same group between February 28, 2017, and April 1, 2017.

She also pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by abuse of position and one charge of false accounting.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said it was accepted this was an extremely serious matter and aggravating features were that it was a breach of trust case and involved a charitable organisation.

He added that she had been through the disciplinary procedure.

Dale, who was the co-ordinator of the group, then informed him in court that she had resigned her position.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly said that the case could have gone the Crown Court and she was going to need a pre-sentence report.

She adjourned the matter until August 29 to get a report prepared by the probation service.

She added that she wanted Dale to understand that she was required by law to get a report and the defendant should not draw any comfort from that and that she could still get a custodial sentence.

No details of the offences were outlined.

During an application for legal aid the court was told Dale was going to apply for benefits.