A ROBBER who denied his guilt so that he could see his mum more often at Christmas has now admitted his crime.

Thomas Roberts was one of four men who attempted to robe the M & H Newsagents in Bath Street, Bolton, on October 18 armed with an imitation hand gun.

They were arrested and remanded in prison. Roberts, aged 29, of Neville Close, Bolton and two of his co-accused, Michael Elwood, aged 53, of Haydock Street, Bolton, and Leon Blears, aged 32, of Fern Street, Bolton, appeared at Bolton Crown Court on December 3 to enter their pleas.

Elwood and Blears both pleaded guilty to attempted robbery but Roberts opted to deny committing the offence and possessing an imitation firearm.

The court was told that it was a"tactical" decision as being on remand would entitle him to more visitation rights with his mother over Christmas.

At Bolton Crown Court yesterday Roberts appeared again via a video link and pleaded guilty to the offences. A fourth man, William Fisher, aged 38, of Haydock Street, Bolton, also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. The four defendants will appear again for sentencing on January 9.

Judge Graeme Smith told them: "Custodial sentences are inevitable given the seriousness of the offence and I will be considering is how long the sentences should be."