Theft charge officer could lose his job with the PSNI

Antrim Courthouse.
Antrim Courthouse.

A suspended police officer stands to loose his job with the PSNI after appearing in court on Tuesday on a single charge of theft.

John Martin Gallagher (37), whose address was given as C/O Coleraine PSNI, whose case was originally listed as a ‘standby’ trial, appeared before Antrim Crown Court accused of stealing items belonging to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

However, instead of facing a jury for the theft, which included a pair of UGG Boots, two sets of Dr Dre speakers, two sets of MAC makeup and one bottle of aftershave, belonging to the PSNI, Judge Desmond Marrinan heard the matter had been “resolved”.

Prosecution barrister Tessa Kitson told the court that there was “an agreed alternative disposal”, to the case.

“There has been an agreed alternative disposal which has been accepted by the PPS (Public Prosecution Service),” she said, adding that the October 2014 theft charge “can be left on the books, not to be proceeded with”.

This was accepted by barrister, Eoghan Devlin, for Gallagher, who later replied “no comment” when asked for his reaction.

No details surround the case were outlined during Tuesday’s brief hearing. However, when the case first came before Coleraine Magistrates Court last April, a defence solicitor said given the nature of the charge it was a case which could bring his client’s “livelihood to an end”.

It is understood that Gallagher is to accept a caution from his former police bosses, and as a result will resign from the force.

A PSNI spokeswoman later commented: “The officer remains suspended pending conclusion of our internal procedures. We have no further comment to make at this stage.”