The former chief executive of a Durham-based hospice has been sentenced to four years in jail after spending approximately £90,000 from a corporate credit card to buy luxury travel, clothes and rounds of drinks.
Graham Leggatt Chidgey was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday at Teesside Crown Court for the defrauding the charity out of approximately £85,000.
Leggatt Chidgey was in charge of Butterwick Hospice Care in Stockton-on-Tees for more than 20 years until April 2017.
He spent thousands on hotels, travel and designer clothes, including £4,000 on Montblanc pens, according to the BBC. He refused to let other members of staff at the charity open credit card statements.
The offences are said to have taken place over almost eight years between 2009 and March last year.
Judith Hunter, chair of Butterworth Hospice Care, said that the charity has appointed a new chief executive and has reviewed its governance structures and processes.
She said in a statement: “We are pleased that justice has been served today. 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’.”
She added that following the court case last month, the charity has been “moved by the overwhelming support of our local community who are ‘backing the Butterwick’ and returning to support this much loved local charity”.