A BUSINESSMAN has appeared in court after pleading guilty to grooming and child sex offences.

David Lionel Baker, of Startforth, near Barnard Castle, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

The 43-year-old, formerly of The Moody Baker in Barnard Castle, pleaded guilty to a charge of meeting a 15-year-old girl following sexual grooming and sexual activity with her when he appeared before the court last month.

He was remanded in custody until yesterday while psychiatric and pre-sentence reports were completed.

However, sentencing did not go ahead and the case was adjourned again until a further hearing which is due to take place on Monday, February 26.

Baker continues to be remanded in custody.

Companies House records show that his role as a director of the award-winning bakery was terminated on January 8, 2018.