A trusted warden has pleaded guilty to fraud, after taking more than £44,000 from a church.
Steven Clark pinched the cash from St Michael and All Angels Church, in Alnham, over a period of nearly two years.
Prosecutors claim the 48-year-old, from Hill Top Cottage, Alnham, was churchwarden at the time and dishonestly abused his position to make a gain for himself, to the value of £44,117.19.
The offences relate to a period between January 1, 2015, and November 27, 2016.
He pleaded guilty to fraud at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court, in Bedlington.
However, magistrates deemed their sentencing powers were not sufficient and sent Clark to Newcastle Crown Court for sentence.
He was released on unconditional bail and is listed to appear there on Friday, September 22.
St Michael and All Angels Church is set on the edge of the Northumbrian National Park, close to the source of the River Aln.