Northern Ireland

Belfast accountant Michael Kinder jailed over £1m care home fraud

Michael Kinder Image copyright Photopress
Image caption The court heard Michael Kinder was "acutely aware of the shame" brought on his family

A Belfast accountant who defrauded a care home of more than £1m has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Michael Kinder, 52, from Maryville Park, south Belfast, will also serve a further two years on supervision.

Kinder pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court in November to transferring £1,036,055 into his own bank accounts.

The court was told in the years leading up to the fraud he had lost full-time employment and had become addicted to the prescription drug OxyContin.

Judge Kevin Finnegan QC told the married father-of-four it was sad to see "a man of previous impeccable character" in the dock.

"I'm not going to lecture you - you know what you've done to yourself and your family," he added.

The money was taken from the bank account of Nazareth House care village on the Ravenhill Road in Belfast over a six-year period.

'Gross breach of trust'

The accountant also admitted another charge of falsifying a bank account belonging to the care home.

A prosecution barrister told the court the "greed" of Kinder had impacted on the care home, and individuals working there.

The barrister said it had been a "gross breach of trust".

Dressed in a blue pinstripe suit and dark-coloured tie, Kinder sat in the dock as details of the case were outlined.

As he was led away from the dock in handcuffs, his wife in the public gallery blew him a kiss.

The court was told he is married with four children, aged 11 to 17.

'Acutely aware'

All of the money which was taken had been repaid to the care home, the court was told.

Kinder's defence barrister said a "lifelong friend" had lent him the money to pay it back.

The barrister said Kinder had got into financial difficulties after losing full-time employment in 2012.

He became addicted to the prescription painkiller OxyContin after first taking it following a sports injury to his ankle.

Kinder's barrister said her client was "acutely aware of the shame he has brought on his family".

The court was told that discrepancies in the accounts of the care home were first noticed in the summer of 2017.

Initially, Kinder blamed them on a "computer corruption".

The police were later called in to investigate.

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