A man has admitted a spate of knife-point robberies across Canvey in which he stole a range of groceries including coffee and three frozen chickens.

Richard Lawson, 45, of Sydevelt Road, Canvey, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and possession of a knife when he appeared at Southend Crown Court yesterday.

Lawson appeared wearing prison-issued clothing via videolink from Chelmsford Prison before Recorder Gerard Pounder and spoke only to confirm his name and enter additional pleas.

The first offence took place on July 31 when Lawson robbed a man of several jars of coffee.

He then robbed a different man of three frozen chickens on August 8 this year.

Later that day he went on to rob a third man of four bottles of champagne.

Having pleaded guilty to the August offences at a previous hearing, Lawson admitted the July offence yesterday as well as possessing a kitchen knife on August 7.

Recorder Pounder said: “So we’re not dealing with chickens and champagne this time. It’s coffee.

“He has already pleaded guilty to two others and this is the third knife-point robbery.”

Lawson was facing a fifth count of burgling Fixco Construction, in Runwood Road, Canvey, to which he pleaded not guilty.

As a result, the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence and Recorder Pounder found him not guilty of the offence.

Lawson was due to be sentenced yesterday but, despite a pre-sentence report already being prepared, the judge felt it was necessary for his latest pleas to be assessed by the probation service.

Addressing Lawson, he said: “Whoever sentences you, as it will not be me, will want to be able to assess the totality of your pleas today.

“So it is important that everything is brought together.

“Because you already have a report in relation to two robberies, the author should look at it again to re-assess your circumstances.”

Lawson will next appear at Southend Crown Court on November 27 after a second pre-sentence report is prepared.

Recorder Pounder added: “You will remain in custody and we will have a link again for another hearing on that date.”