Former Victoria Square car park attendant to stand trial over £29,000 theft

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A former car park attendant is to stand trial accused of stealing more than £29,000 over a four-month period, a judge has ordered.

James Smythe allegedly took the money while working at facilities under the Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast.

The 41-year-old, of Ardmore Gardens in Bangor, appeared before the city’s magistrates’ court charged with one count of theft.

He is accused of stealing £29,146.10 belonging to Q-Park Ltd on dates between January 15 and May 20, 2017.

No further details of the alleged offence were disclosed during the preliminary enquiry hearing.

Smythe confirmed that he understood the charge but declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage.

Defence solicitor Mark Austin did not dispute prosecution submissions that his client has a prima facie case to answer.

On that basis District Judge Fiona Bagnall granted an application to have the accused returned for Crown Court trial on a date to be set.

Smythe was released on continuing bail of £500.