A MAN will be sentenced later this month for robbing a South Cumbria filling station shop worker while armed with a meat cleaver.

Colin Eaves, 33, had been due to stand trial at Carlisle Crown Court after denying two charges arising out of an incident at the Burton Road business premises in Oxenholme at around 10-30pm on November 22 last year.

But when he appeared in front of a judge over a custody video link earlier, Eaves changed his pleas to guilty.

He admitted robbing the male Texaco filling station shop worker of cash, tobacco and alcohol, and also the possession of a bladed article - a meat cleaver - “without good reason or lawful authority”.

Eaves’ crimes had sparked a swift police investigation and a public appeal for information.

A Cumbria Constabulary spokesman had said in the aftermath: “No one was injured during the incident.”

Eaves, of no fixed address but said to be from Kendal, sported dark hair and wore a prison-issue dark grey sweatshirt during today’s short court hearing.

He was remanded in custody by Judge Nicholas Barker and is due to be sentenced at the crown court on April 15. “You know this is a serious matter,” Eaves was told by the judge.

Cases are continuing to be heard at Carlisle Crown Court where remote working arrangements are being put in place amid the coronavirus crisis.

As Eaves took part in the proceedings over a video link, two barristers also appeared remotely, each using a Skype application to communicate with Judge Barker as he sat in court. Eaves was able to see Richard Haworth, prosecuting, and Jacob Dyer, defending, displayed simultaneously on a laptop in the courtroom.

Addressing all parties, a court clerk had stated of the Skype link: “That does not change the serious nature or the importance of the hearing.”