Ex-Butterwick Hospice boss admits £100k fraud charges

Graham Leggatt-Chidgey
Image caption Leggatt-Chidgey was warned to expect a prison term

The former boss of a Teesside hospice has been warned he faces jail after pleading guilty to fraud.

Graham Leggatt-Chidgey had denied defrauding £100,000 from the Butterwick Hospice in Stockton with the company credit card between 2009 and 2017.

He was due to stand trial at Teesside Crown Court, but the 62-year-old, of Rokeby, Barnard Castle, changed his plea. He will be sentenced on 11 June.

Leggatt-Chidgey had worked at the charity for 21 years.

'Affairs in order'

Granting him bail, Judge Sean Morris said: "Don't read into it that this is anything other than a custodial sentence.

"This gives you time to get your affairs in order."

The hospice - which has facilities in Stockton-on-Tees, Bishop Auckland and Weardale - was set up by Mary Butterwick in 1984 with her own money from the sale of her house in memory of her husband John who died of cancer.

Leggatt-Chidgey was arrested last year.

'Lost confidence'

Speaking after the hearing, Judith Hunter, chair of the trustees, said: "The Butterwick Hospice has been the victim of a terrible crime committed by one individual.

"We know that people have lost faith and confidence in the hospice, however I'm glad the story is now out there for people to hear.

"I ask people to get behind the hospice, it's really important we continue with the legacy Mary Butterwick introduced many decades ago."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Graham Leggatt-Chidgey worked for the charity for 21 years

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