A man who has admitted to a string of armed robberies in St. John's earlier this year says his addiction to morphine drove him to commit the crimes.

Andrew Carter, 27, was in court on Friday for a sentencing hearing.

The court was told Carter went to police in April and confessed to five armed robberies, an attempted robbery, and a theft, most of which took place in January 2014.

The robberies occurred at convenience stores, gas bars and Sears. During five of the seven total robberies, Carter was brandishing a knife.

Carter said because of his drug addiction, his life had spiralled out of control.

He said he confessed to police because he knows he needs drug addiction counselling, and wants to take responsibility for what he's done and turn his life around.

Carter would tell clerks during the robberies that he was an addict, and apologized for what he was doing.

One clerk even told police Carter was very polite during one incident.

The Crown noted that during one robbery, Carter told the clerk, "It's not your money. Don't risk you life over it."

Carter's sentencing hearing is set to continue on June 27.

Given the provincial court's stance on handing out harsher sentences for robberies, in an effort to protect retail store staff, Carter is expected to get at least a three-year sentence.

With files from Glenn Payette