Other News In Brief

Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

A man has been convicted for claiming over £12,000 in benefits he was not entitled to at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

Noel Allen of Forthriver Link, Belfast claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £12,893 while failing to declare employment. He was given 200 hours community service. The fraud was uncovered following an investigation by the Department for Communities.

He is also required to pay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department.

Clanmill Housing Acquires 30 Derelict Homes In North Belfast

A housing association in Northern Ireland has acquired 30 derelict properties in north Belfast.

Clanmill Housing Association plans to carry out refurbishment work on the properties which will help reduce the number of people currently on the housing waiting list.

Sinn Fein MLA Carál Ní Chuilín welcomed the announcement, however she also called on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to upgrade more derelict properties in Lower Cliftonville.

She made the call after the Chief Executive of the NIHE recently went to view a number of neglected properties in the area.
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She said: "We have asked the Housing Executive to invest in these properties to ensure that they are brought up to standard so that local families can live in them," she said. "Some of the properties belong to the Housing Executive and some of them are in private ownership but they should be put to use given the overwhelming extent of housing shortages and inequalities in this area.

"We would also reiterate our appeal to all social housing providers to focus on increasing their supply of social homes in North Belfast to ensure the need for proper housing is met."

SDLP Slams Decision To Reduce Gary Haggarty's Sentence

SDLP MLA John Dallat has said the decision to knock 29 years off the sentence of former UVF commander Gary Haggarty for passing information to the PSNI defies any sense of justice.

This is compounded by the recent decision by the PPS not to prosecute two of Haggarty's Special Branch handlers who directed and provided cover for many of his heinous crimes.

He said "The appalling decision to release murderer Haggarty after just six years makes a complete mockery of our Justice System.

"This decision does nothing but heap further pain and suffering upon the relatives of victims, who even at this stage believed they may have received some sense of justice.

"All of this comes at a time when Theresa May is spinning the myth that there is an imbalance against security forces being investigated for Troubles related offences, when state sponsored murderers like Haggarty are walking free.

"It truly is an indictment of our Justice System that a criminal like Haggarty has been effectively rewarded despite having a list of over 500 offences and 5 attempted murders against his name."


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