THE boss of a charity which delivered aid to Romania has pleaded guilty to a string of firearms offences.

James Jones, known as Rod, admitted two counts of possessing a firearm when prohibited, as well as charges of possessing a prohibited firearm and a rifled gun.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the weapons included a shotgun and pistols.

The bearded 71-year-old, who appeared in court via video-link, also pleaded guilty to possessing more than £26,000 in criminal property and fraudulently evading duty worth more than £19,000.

Jones, of Douglas Street, Middlesbrough, denied two other counts of possessing a firearm when prohibited, as well as charges of possessing prohibited ammunition and possessing ammunition without a firearms certificate.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield indicated that he would not be seeking a trial for those charges, and the defendant is set to be sentenced at the same court on November 19.

Remanding Jones in custody, Judge Stephen Ashurst said: "You have pleaded guilty to a number of charges on this indictment, not guilty to a number of others. These pleas are acceptable to the prosecution.

"The fact that you have pleaded guilty is something that will be taken into account when you are sentenced."

Jones has run Convoy Aid Romania for almost three decades and the charity exports consignments of donated items to needy people in some of the most impoverished areas of the eastern European country.

More than a decade ago, Mr Jones ran into trouble on one of his many mercy missions when he was investigated by the Romanian police for a number of alleged firearms offences.

Authorities in Romania seized several guns and air weapons from Mr Jones' residence during the course of their investigations.

The arms – a replica Winchester rife, two replica colt 45s, an air rifle and air gun – were, he said, shipped by mistake to Romania, among a consignment of aid several years earlier.