Advice centre theft case is hit by delays

New court date has been set.
New court date has been set.

The trial of a woman accused of helping herself to thousands of pounds from the funds of an advice centre has been hit by a series of delays.

Christine Rodger denies embezzling £6,525 while working as a senior co-ordinator at Tannochside Information and Advice Centre between November 2011 and June the following year.

The trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court has been postponed four times with concerns raised recently about the accused’s health.

Rodger (58), of Carron Bridge, Dumfries, failed to appear for trial in March and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

She finally attended a hearing last week and Sheriff Ray Small fixed a fresh trial date for September.

The charge alleges Rodger cashed a number of cheques while she was working at the centre and kept the money.

The long-established centre in Thorniewood Road provides advice on welfare benefits, housing matters, debt, pensions and legal issues.

The case first called in court in January last year when Rodger pleaded not guilty by letter. However, three times over the next year the trial was postponed at the request of the defence.

Twice more time was given for the defence to prepare and then another adjournment was allowed when Rodger was ill.

When she appeared in court last week solicitor Diarmid Bruce said his client maintains her innocence.