A WEST Cumbrian man has admitted being part of a conspiracy to steal following a huge police investigation into attacks on cash machines in five Cumbrian towns.

Maurice Smith, 56, of Craika Road, Dearham, Maryport, entered his guilty plea during a brief appearance at Carlisle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Andrew Ford said accepted the plea as an alternative to a more serious charge that the defendant - and his 10 co-defendants - faced of conspiring to commit burglary with intent to steal.

The other defendants have denied that charge.

The period of the conspiracy in the charge was specified as September 1, 2017, to September 30 of that year. Judge James Adkin told Smith that he will be sentenced when the allegations against his co-accused are resolved.

The prosecution resulted from a major police investigation into attacks on ATM machines in Brampton, Cockermouth, Maryport, Silloth and Whitehaven.

As he remanded Smith in custody, Judge Adkin told him: "You should expect a custodial sentence for this."