Brian Thexton, from Durham, is accused of being involved in a number of robberies where a gang would tie up homeowners and force them to give up alarm codes and safe combinations.
In one incident the gang pretended to be police officers to trick the victims into opening the door, before pulling out a pick-axe handle and a baseball bat.
The 37-year-old is also awaiting trial for conspiracy to supply cocaine, over claims that he was the middleman in the sale of half a kilo of the drug, and had admitted conspiring to steal cars and machinery
More top news
An investigation shows humans need to think about the way they act around seagulls in a bid to curb their behaviour.
People in the south Cumbrian village of Staveley say they can't wait two years for a bridge damaged by Storm Desmond to be rebuilt.
With excitement building around the Rio Olympics, ITV is calling on sports clubs to help play their part in the nation's biggest sports day.