Strict bail terms for fraudster who was on run for six months

A fraudster on the run for the past six months has been bailed on the stringent conditions that he is tagged, curfewed and reports to police every other day.

Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 4:58 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:03 pm

Belfast Crown Court heard that 51-year-old Paul Smyth, with an address given as Manor Avenue in Bangor, was to have been sentenced last December but instead absconded and was only rearrested at the beginning of July.

Prosecutor Andrew Brownlee said Smyth, with over 200 previous convictions, including 43 for deception, and with three other offences pending, had tried to lease an apartment in Ballywalter, knowing he had no right to do so.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey said that Smyth had accepted his guilt from the outset, and had co-operated with probation, but had then failed to appear for his sentencing. He added Smyth’s was a low-level fraud, only being dealt with by the Crown Court because of his record.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr McConkey said that Smyth, with an agreed bail address in Westlea Drive, Portavogie, was due to see a psychiatrist during August, prior to being sentenced in September.

Her Honour Judge McCaffrey said she would only grant bail in the most stringent of circumstances, warning Smyth that come ‘hell or high water’ he must report to police at a time of their choosing, or risk breaching his bail.

As part of his bail totalling £1,000, Smyth agreed to be tagged, observe an 11pm to 8am curfew, and report to police every other day.