A man has been bailed so he can go home and look after his housebound mother during lockdown after he admitted to assaulting police officers during a stop and search.

It was alleged that Hayden Martin, 24, was due to go on trial on Monday for assaulting three police officers and carrying a 9cm-long lock knife.

But the defendant pleaded guilty to multiple charges, and has been allowed to return home on bail before his sentencing so he can look after his vulnerable mother.

Martin, who has two previous convictions for carrying blades, reportedly got involved in a scuffle with the officers and dropped the knife after he was stopped in Peckham in January last year.

Jurors had gathered at the Old Bailey to be selected for the two-day trial, which was one of the first to be conducted under new social distancing arrangements.

But before they came into court, the defendant, of Southwark, south London, pleaded guilty to assaulting two officers - Peter Findlay and Matthew Stringer - and possession of a blade in Talfourd Place, Peckham.

The prosecution accepted the pleas and asked for an assault charge relating to a third officer to lie on court file.

Defence barrister Brian Kennedy asked for a pre-sentence report and for Martin to be released on bail before he is sentenced on June 16.

He said: "The defendant is under no illusions that at the forefront of my Lord's mind will be a custodial sentence.

"He is currently looking after his mother who is vulnerable and housebound subject to the coronavirus outbreak. He does her shopping and looks after her."

Judge Anthony Leonard QC granted Martin conditional bail but warned that a jail sentence remained a possibility.

He said: "One of the more troubling aspects of this is the fact he was carrying a knife, bearing in mind he has previous history."

The judge left the courtroom and used a microphone to address potential jurors sitting two metres away from each other in the hallway.

Apologising for keeping them waiting, he told them: "The defendant has decided this morning that he would plead guilty to three of the four charges.

"You might think why on Earth could this not have happened weeks ago, that would have saved me coming in."

He explained it had not been a "futile" exercise, saying that no matter how well trials are prepared in advance, coming to court sometimes encourages defendants to change their plea, as happened in this case.