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24/09/2021

BREAKING: Derry solicitor found not guilty on charges of submitting fraudulent legal aid payment application forms

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A forty-seven years old local solicitor was today found not guilty of eight charges of submitting fraudulent legal aid payment application forms to the Legal Services Agency. On the twelfth day of the trial at Derry Crown Court sitting in Coleraine, the eleven strong jury, following almost three hours of deliberations, returned eight not guilty verdicts, each of them by majorities of ten to one. The defendant, Damien McDaid from Templegrove in the Buncrana Road area of the city had denied submitting fraudulent legal aid payment application forms to the L.S.A. for which he had been paid between £6,000 and £10,000. He was acquitted of committing the eight offences on various dates between July 2010 and January 2012 when he worked as a sole practitioner specialising in family law matters. After the not guilty verdicts were announced by the jury foreman, trial judge Madam Justice Denise McBride thanked the jurors for what she said was the crucial role they had played in the administration of justice. She then turned to the defendant in the dock and said: "You have been found not guilty by the jury and therefore you are free to leave".

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