Three men have appeared in court accused of conspiring to defraud a tourist travel company with one charged with defrauding tourists visiting the iconic Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
Standing together in the dock of Coleraine Magistrates’ Court were Bushmills petrol station owner Johnathan Morgan from the Priestland Road, Alan Barry, from Kiln Park in Ballyclare, and Mark Coulter, from Burton Avenue in Dundonald.
All three are accused of “conspiring together with intent to cheat and defraud” McComb Travel company by manipulating a fuel card payment system on various dates between June 1 2008 and June 5 2012.
Barry is further accused of committing fraud by false representation between June 1 and 5 2012 by allegedly lying “to passengers of McComb Travel as to the admission price to a National Trust property, namely Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge with the intention, by making the representation, to make a gain for yourself or another”.
A public prosecutor said that based on the evidence before the court she believed the three defendants had a case to answer, with their solicitors making no contrary submissions.
District Judge Liam McNally said he was satisfied there was a prima facie case and committed the three men to Antrim Crown Court to stand trial.
They were each released on their own bail of £500 and ordered to appear before the Crown Court on October 15 for their arraignment.