An Alnwick man has admitted nine counts of gross indecency with a child and pleaded not guilty to a further two charges.
Stephen Collins, 56, of The Cordwainers, was due to stand trial at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, but changed his plea at the last minute.
He pleaded guilty to seven counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14 and two counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 16.
Collins denied two further counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.
The offences date from between 1999 and 2003 and relate to one male victim.
Joe Hedworth, defending Collins, said that his client had seen a mental-health team shortly before he appeared in the dock on Monday and had seen a psychologist in 2003 for anxiety and depression.
He added that Collins had health problems and was told that his client probably only had a short length of time left to live.
The case has been adjourned until the week commencing Monday, January 27, for a pre-sentence report. Judge John Evans also ordered a medical report and said Collins may need a supplementary mental-health report. He described the charges as ‘serious matters’.
Collins is on bail and subject to the Sex Offenders’ Register.
The prosecution will offer no evidence for the not-guilty pleas.