Fraudster jailed for four years

David Mark Flannigan. Pic by Pacemaker Belfast.
David Mark Flannigan. Pic by Pacemaker Belfast.

A man who stole £250,000 from three victims, including the children of a former soldier killed in Iraq, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

David Mark Flannigan (45), whose address was given as Lurgan Road, Portadown, appeared at Craigavon Crown Court today (Monday) for sentencing.

Judge Donna McColgan QC ordered that he spend two years in prison and two on licence.

At a previous hearing he had pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of his position.

Flannigan, an accounting technician, swindled most of the money - £161,370 - from the R N Moore Will Trust. This fund was set up by his friend, Tandragee man Raymond Moore, for his two children, Rebecca and Zac, in the event of his death.

Mr Moore, a former RIR soldier, was killed in an explosion Iraq in 2007 while working for a security firm.

A further £66,800 was stolen from Portadown Masonic Recreation Club and £23,508 from Richhill-based Orchard County Travel.

Flannigan committed the offences over a space of four-and-a-half years, from January 2010 to May 2014.

Judge Donna McColgan QC said that while all the offences represented a significant breach of trust, the offence concerning the children of Raymond Moore was “repugnant in the extreme”.

She added, “It would be difficult to imagine a more serious breach of trust.”

At a court hearing last Monday, the court was told that, on reaching 21, Rebecca Moore had received an initial sum of £10,000 but nothing else.

Judge McColgan said the aggravating features of the case included the number of victims, the high level of breach of trust in respect of Rebecca and Zac, the considerable sum misappropriated and the duration of the offending.

However, she said she was taking into account the defendant’s guilty plea, his clear record, poor health and the loss of his home and marriage.

She said that although Flannigan had reassigned his pension rights to the Moore children, it still left a deficit of £100,000 in their trust fund.

As Flannigan was led from the dock, a member of the public shouted, “You stole from a hero”.