A MIDDLESBROUGH councillor has pleaded guilty to a misconduct in a public office charge in connection with a fireworks display.

Jon Rathmell pleaded not guilty to three charges of fraud and forgery involving the use of fake invoices submitted to a community council and the prosecution intends to offer no evidence in relation to those allegations.

The 42-year-old, who is a member of the Middlesbrough Independent Councillors Association (MICA) on Middlesbrough Council, will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court next month.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, confirmed no evidence would be offered in relation to the charges connected to Rathmell's not guilty pleas.

Paul Cleasby, representing Rathmell, said: "Those pleas were notified to the court some time ago by Mr Rathmell, who has been suffering fairly significantly from a number of health complaints, but he is glad to progress the case."

He was accused of committing fraud by false representation and two counts of using a false instrument and the court heard the details were incorporated into the new charge.

The new offence, containing the same details, is alleged to have occurred between January 10 and 11 in 2019 and involved Nunthorpe Community Council.

Judge Stephen Ashurst requested a pre-sentence report ahead of Rathmell's next appearance.

He said: "You have pleaded guilty to a single offence of misconduct in public office, the prosecution are not going to proceed to trial of the allegations of fraud or using a flase instrument.

"When you are sentenced the prosecution will formally offer no evidence in respect of those matters."

Rathmell was released on bail until May 28 when he will be sentenced.