The former chief executive of Butterwick Hospice has been sentenced to four years in jail after de-frauding the charity of over £91,000.
According to a BBC news report, Graham Leggatt-Chidgey spent thousands of pounds on the company credit card between the years of 2009 and 2017 on luxury hotels, restaurants, designer clothes, and jewellery.
The 63 year-old, who was described as a “skilled fraudster” in court, previously pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to imprisonment by Teesside Crown Court on Monday.
Judith Hunter, chairwoman of the hospice’s trustees, reported her suspicions to police in March 2017 and investigations began after Leggatt-Chidgey was seen using the card to buy expensive rounds of drinks at events.
During Leggatt-Chidgey’s 21 years at the charity, staff presumed the fraudster had his own source of wealth.
Hunter issued a statement on the hospice website, saying: “We appointed a new chief executive last year, and have reviewed our governance structures and processes. Following last month’s court case we have been moved by the overwhelming support of our local community who are ‘backing the Butterwick’ and returning to support this much loved local charity.”
“We are pleased that justice has been served. Butterwick Hospice Care was created by one courageous, inspirational woman, Mary Butterwick, and if she were with us today she would encourage us to stand tall and move forward - this is exactly what we plan to do.
“We are here to provide services to children, adults and their families when they are in need of holistic care as a consequence of a life limiting condition and for the past 34 years this is what we have done, for volunteers and staff at the Butterwick it is ‘business as usual’.”