A MAN has admitted carrying out an armed raid at a small bookmakers’ premises, last month.

James Longworth escaped with an amount of cash following the robbery at the William Hill betting shop, in Horden, on the evening of Saturday October 6.

He is said to have entered the premises, in Springwell Buildings, Sixth Street, wearing a mask and carrying a hammer, at about 7.30pm.

He challenged the lone assistant, demanding money, and, having told her to stand near a toilet door, he climbed the counter and helped himself to cash, before fleeing.

Although the assistant was said to have been unhurt, she was described as being “incredibly shaken” at the ordeal.

Longworth was linked to the crime through forensic evidence and was arrested two days later.

But, he was subsequently said to have assaulted a police officer and, having been taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment, himself, made an attempt to escape from police accompanying him.

He did not get far, however, and was chased and detained by an escorting officer.

Longworth, 25, of Scafell Close, Peterlee, appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe, on October 9, charged with the robbery and possessing an offensive weapon, the hammer, and the case was sent to Durham Crown Court.

He made his first crown court appearance at a plea and trial preparation hearing,.via video link to nearby Durham Prison.

Longworth admitted both counts, plus further offences, of assaulting a police officer by beating and attempting to escape from lawful custody, when the case got underway.

Martin Scarborough, for the defendant, told Judge Jonathan Carroll: “Clearly a custodial sentence will follow and my client is content to be sentenced now.”

But Judge Carroll, who is presiding over the latter stages of a trial, said there was insufficient court time.

Mr Scarborough and prosecuting counsel, Julie Clemitson, said they were available for a sentencing hearing on Friday.

Remanding Longworth to remain in custody, Judge Carroll told him: “You have pleaded guilty to these four matters.

“As your counsel has said, inevitably it will be a custodial sentence when you are sentenced, on Friday.”