A YORK man accused of taking the leading role in the £30,000 robbery of a gold dealer has pleaded guilty.

Andrew Williams, 55, of Ordnance Lane, dramatically changed his plea to one of being guilty of robbery, eight days into his trial.

He admitted being one of two men who stalked John McDonald, 77, home from a sale of jewellery at York Racecourse.

A court has heard how Mr McDonald was met by two men wearing balaclavas in the hallway of his home in Gilberdyke before he was hit on the head with a gun and his hands were bound.

As one man ransacked the house looking for rings, brooches and cash - the other ordered Mr McDonald to open the safe. He was told his fingers would be cut off if he refused, Hull Crown Court has heard. They stole £30,000 worth of jewellery and took his Range Rover.

The jury were told the prosecution would not continue with the case against Andrew Williams’ brother James Williams, 52, of being involved in the robbery.

James Williams, of Chapel Garth, Gilberdyke, denied robbery and the jury confirmed he was not guilty on the direction of the judge. His girlfriend said he was 21 miles away from robbery at the time looking after children. Giving evidence in court, Kirsty Wilkinson suggested Andrew Williams’ son Darren Lindsell was the second man involved in the robbery and she was duped into driving the getaway car.

In a DVD interview played to the jury, Mr McDonald said he was attacked as he got into his home by men wearing balaclavas. He said: “They hit me over the head and the blood just poured immediately all over me, and that’s when I knew it was for real.”

He said one of the robbers removed his balaclava but the other man, said to be Andrew Williams, did not remove his balaclava, and was “definitely the leader”.

Asked how he was feeling, the jeweller said: “Really, really terrified, because I thought with him taking his mask off, I thought this is it, you are not going to get out of this.”

James Wilkinson’s girlfriend Alexandra Wilkinson, 23, of Chapel Garth, Gilberdyke, remains on trial accused of robbery. The former girlfriend of Andrew Williams, Holly Marsh, 30, of Kingsway West, York, denies handling stolen property taken from Mr McDonald. Ms Marsh had previously said the jewellery was hers and had been in her family some time.

The trial continues.