Former Virgin Media worker sent for trial for stealing €870,000 from TV station

Former payroll administrator accused of theft, money-laundering offences

The woman and her partner are also charged with 10 money-laundering offences.  File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

The woman and her partner are also charged with 10 money-laundering offences. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

A former payroll administrator at Virgin Media Television has been sent forward for trial accused of stealing more than €870,000 from the broadcaster.

Kellie Walton (39) of Kilfenora Road, Dublin 12 had been charged in March last year with theft of €64,509 in cash, property of TV3/Virgin Media Television, on a date in 2018.

She was also accused of stealing €70,614 in 2019 from the television station at Westgate Business Park, Ballymount, Dublin12.

Investigating gardaí John Tuthill and David Jennings were given further time to obtain directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

A file was sent to the DPP following the probe which went back over a 10-year period.

In April, 20 additional charges were brought against Ms Walton. There were 10 counts of theft from the station, bringing the total to €870,500, from 2009 to 2019. Most of the time period in the charges was prior to the acquisition of TV3 by Virgin Media in 2015.

She and her partner John Murray (40), of the same address, were each charged with 10 money-laundering offences. The DPP directed trial on indictment which, on conviction, has wider sentencing powers.

They made no reply to the charges and appeared again at Dublin District Court on Monday.

Books of evidence were served on them by the State and Judge Miriam Walsh agreed to the DPP’s request to grant a return for trial order.

She told them they were being sent forward for trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, where they will face their next hearing on July 22nd.

They nodded when warned that they had two weeks to inform the prosecution if they intended to use alibis in their defence.

They have not yet indicated how they will plead.

Defence solicitor Luke Staines told the court the pair were applying for legal aid which would allow them to be represented by senior counsel. This was due to the seriousness of the charges, he explained.

Judge Walsh agreed to grant legal aid to include senior counsel. She also directed that copies of video evidence to be handed over to the defence.