AN accountant who has admitted fleecing money from a community centre has been arrested on the day he was to be sentenced after failing to attend court.

Paul Brown-King first appeared at Durham Crown Court late in January, accused of defrauding Bullion Lane Community Hall, in Chester-le-Street.

He was said to have abused his position overseeing accounts for the community group by making payments from its funds into his own account, between January 1, 2012, and January 30, 2017.

The sum put to that hearing, was £57,247.56.

Although the 62-year-old accountant, from Newcastle, admitted a charge of fraud, he added: “Not to the amount.”

His counsel, Tony Davis, asked for a three-week adjournment to enable the Crown and the defence to settle on an agreed amount said to have been taken by Brown-King.

Judge Christopher Prince agreed to the adjournment and bailed Brown-King to his home address in Sturdee Gardens, West Jesmond.

When failed to appear for the listed sentencing hearing, the court was told he had been arrested at his home address by police amid concerns for his welfare.

He was brought to court and produced later in the day, where Judge Prince adjourned the hearing to allow preparation of a psychiatric report on the defendant prior to sentence.

Brown-King was remanded in custody pending the new sentencing date, of Friday April 12.