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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Fine and mostly dry with some sunny spells for the first half of the new working week. Warm inland in the sunshine
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