THE former chief executive of the Butterwick Hospice has pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud today.

Graham Leggatt-Chidgey was facing claims he defrauded thousands of pounds from the charity.

Last year, Mr Leggatt-Chidgey, from near Barnard Castle, County Durham, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud by false representation at Teesside Crown Court.

But this morning, the 62-year-old changed his plea to guilty.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place over almost eight years between 2009 and March last year.

Judge Sean Morris told Leggatt-Chidgey that he was prepared to adjourn sentence to enable him to sort out his affairs but warned him that there was the prospect of a custodial sentence.

He is expected to be sentenced on June 11.