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
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Wintry start for some and windy. Brightening later
Emma brings you Saturday's forecast
Longest cold spell of winter so far. Mainly dry and bright, but feeling bitterly cold today. Very wintry further east, blizzards possible