Northern Ireland

Ex-solicitor Damien Murray admits stealing more than £800,000

Murray, formerly of Damien Murray and Co Solicitors in Belfast's Botanic Avenue, appeared at Belfast Crown Court Image copyright Photo press
Image caption Murray, formerly of Damien Murray and Co Solicitors in Belfast's Botanic Avenue, appeared at Belfast Crown Court

A former solicitor has admitted stealing over £800,000 from clients at his Belfast law firm over a four-year period.

Damien Murray, from Upper Dunmurry Lane in the city, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court.

He admitted a single charge of stealing £811,080 from clients of Damien Murray and Co Solicitors on Botanic Avenue between June 1999 and December 2003.

Murray, who was struck off as a lawyer in 2011, was released on bail.

The 50-year-old was re-arraigned on the single count of theft during the hearing on Tuesday, and when the judge asked how he was going to plead, he replied: "Guilty."

A defence barrister told the court that the case was "not straightforward" and that he would be providing the court with medical evidence.

The judge ordered pre-sentence reports and said he would hear the plea on a date that has yet to be fixed.