CONSPIRATORS who plotted to raid a major Worcester supermarket have been told by a city judge they may well go to prison.

Wayne Draisey, Keith Johnson and Gavin Johnson admitted conspiracy to burgle the Lidl store in Newtown Road, Worcester and had also planned to raid another Lidl in Birmingham and a third burglary at Hereford post office.

There was a police presence at the court with two officers in the court itself and security staff in the public gallery over court one during the hearing before Judge James Burbidge QC on Tuesday.

Draisey, 35, of Guernsey Drive, Birmingham and Keith Johnson, 27, of Brookwood Avenue appeared in the dock of Worcester Crown Court. Their co-defendant, 35-year-old Gavin Johnson, appeared at the same hearing over videolink from HMP Stoke Heath. All three defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle commercial premises between January 9 and 15 last year.

A fourth defendant, Kieron Kelly, aged 26, of Pype Hayes Road, Birmingham was present at court but was not arraigned at the request of his barrister, Sharon Bailey.

A further hearing in respect of Kelly alone is scheduled to take place on August 3.

Judge Burbidge QC said: "Those who have pleaded guilty no doubt want to be sentenced very swiftly."

The court heard that Gavin Johnson, represented by Will Harrington at the hearing, is a serving prisoner with an anticipated release date of September 4.

There is a basis of plea in his case which was not disclosed in open court.

Mr Harrington asked that a pre-sentence report be prepared on behalf of his client by the probation service.

Gerald Bermingham, for Keith Johnson, said there was also a basis of plea in respect of his client and he asked for a pre-sentence report on his behalf.

Martin Butterworth, for Draisey, said there was no basis of plea in his client's case but added: "I have no doubt he's keen to be sentenced as the others will be."

Judge Burbidge said the last conviction on the record for Gavin Johnson suggested he was also subject to a suspended sentence.

The judge asked for updated antecedence for the defendants ahead of the sentencing hearing which is scheduled to take place at Worcester Crown Court on August 10.

The judge said to the three men who had entered pleas: "You have had the good sense to admit responsibility to the crimes and the judge (who passes sentence) will take that into account in due course."

However, he added: "These are serious crimes. I don't want to give any hope or expectation that any of you will avoid immediate custody."