Former animal charity chief charged with fraud

Stephen Philpott, former head of the USPCA
Stephen Philpott, former head of the USPCA

The former head of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been charged on three fraud offences.

53-year-old Stephen Philpott was arrested last month and released on bail.

He has been accused of two counts of fraud by abuse of position and a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

He has also been charged with possessing criminal property and concealing criminal property.

Mr Philpott will appear at Newry Magistrate's Court on October 19.

A 52-year-old woman who was arrested with Mr Philpott as part of the investigation by the PSNI's Economic Crime Unit was released pending a report to the PPS.

The investigation began after the USPCA, a charity which was founded in 1836, reported 'financial irregularities' to the the police. 

A spokesperson for the USPCA said: "We have been informed that a person has been charged in connection with suspected irregularities in our organisation and we will continue to offer every assistance to the PSNI as their inquiries continue.

"We thank our members and the public for their continued support at this time."