THE grandson of charity founder Mary Butterwick has spoken of the family's anger at Graham Leggatt Chidgey's deception.

Speaking outside Teesside Crown Court, Stephen Ward expressed his disgust and anger at the damage caused to the Butterwick Hospice by the fraudulent actions of the former chief executive.

"In reality, the sentence was never going to be enough in the eyes of the family, whatever sentence he got would never tell the whole story about what happened but four years is quite a substantial sentence," he said.

Speaking about how Leggatt Chidgey illegally spent the charity's money, he said: "It was on luxuries, if he was spending it because he couldn't afford to live, I would have a degree of sympathy, but the fact he was spending it on things to line his own pocket, to make it appear that he was some sort of high-flying executive – there's a lot of anger, real anger.

"When you hear about how he spent the money, there is a lot of anger and resentment. You want to believe and hope that it's not true, this is a charity and you hope that the man who is in a position of trust, who knows what he is doing, is prepared to wilfully take money out of the charity for thousands of pounds and spend it on luxury items pens, watches and leather goods, while there's people in the hospice with literally days to live and he's there prepared to do that – it's just disgusting, absolutely disgusting."

When asked about Leggatt Chidgey's claim that he built the charity's income from £500,000 a year to £5m a year, Mr Ward said: "Yes, he did help to build up the charity but there are a lot of people who did a lot more work than him, people who were probably on a fraction of the wage he was on, people who weren't even getting paid.

"From this day on, it's not about him, it's about the Butterwick and the work they do, not only on Teesside but also in County Durham. People need to remember that there are a lot of people out there who don't get paid and who are doing a hell of a lot of good work and that's what we need to try to remember from now on.

"Campaign's such as 'Backing the Butterwick' which is excellent and has the family's full support. People need to keep going, keep donating, keep giving up their time because there are a lot of excellent people out there who have given up their lives to support the charity and people need to remember that."