A shop owner faces jail after admitting a VAT fraud estimated at £274,000.

David Leatherbarrow, who runs Aughton Food Stores appeared at Liverpool Crown Court this morning.

The 57-year-old, of Brentwood Avenue, Crosby, spoke only to confirm his personal details and plead guilty to fraud.

He admitted failing to register Sales UK Ltd, trading as Aughton Food Stores, for VAT between July 31, 2012 and March 31, 2015.

Judge Andrew Menary, QC, said the amount said to have been defrauded was capable of being argued by the defendant.

John Williams, prosecuting, said financial records would be provided to forensic accountants acting on behalf of Leatherbarrow.

The court heard they would examine these records and carry out calculations to establish the exact amount of tax he evaded.

Christopher Stables, defending, said Leatherbarrow, with short grey hair and wearing a black suit in the dock, was 鈥渁 man of good character鈥?

Judge Menary agreed to adjourn sentencing until July 7 and remanded Leatherbarrow on unconditional bail.

He said: 鈥淚t is a serious offence which often carries a sentence of imprisonment, but all options will be considered by the court between now and that day.?/p>

Leatherbarrow previously ran Altway Foodstores in Altway, Aintree, for more than 25 years, before it ceased trading in April 2012.