Fake barrister faces jail after admitting £15k fraud

Fake barrister Christopher McDonnell faces jail after pleading guilty to eight offences in Belfast Crown Court, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

He admits four counts of fraud by false representation, two counts of theft and two forgery charges.

Mr McDonnell, 34 and from Banbridge, was warned that he faces a custodial sentence after posing as a barrister in order to defraud at least two people, both vulnerable women, of around £15,000.

As part of his fraud, he forged a letter from a recognised law firm as well as a court document which notified a change of solicitor.

Mr McDonnell has denied two further charges of fraud by false representation, namely that he told a woman he needed £590 for “use as an underhand payment to a judge”, and giving out payment instructions which he falsely said were to “discharge legal fees”.

A prosecution lawyer told Judge Patricia Smyth that the PPS would now decide whether to proceed with these charges.