A FORMER church treasurer has been told by a judge to expect a jail sentence after stealing £20,000 from a village church.

Frank Michael Pocock, of Quebec, admitted stealing the funds when he appeared before Judge Christopher Prince at Durham Crown Court.

The money was taken from the account of St Michael and All Angels Church, in Esh Village, near Durham in the 12 months from March 2014. Inquiries were launched into the missing money when the Anglican parish church was billed for the installation of a new central heating system which had not been paid for.

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Pocock, 61, of Wilks Hill appeared at court alongside 57-year-old Peter Taylor, of Eglington Court, Gateshead.

Both pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, involving a series of acts in 2015. The pair are due to be sentenced later this month.