The jail sentences of two men who raided a pub in Ellesmere Port in 2012 have been increased by eight years by the Court of Appeal.

Karl Steinman, 31, of Cunningham Drive, Runcorn, and Mark Roscaleer, of no fixed address, were sentenced to four and five years respectively for the aggravated burglary of The Gunners, on Thornton Road, at Chester Crown Court in March, after both earlier pleaded guilty.

Those sentences were referred to the Attorney General's office by Crown Prosecution Service Mersey-Cheshire and considered unduly lenient by the Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC MP, who referred  it to the Court of Appeal.

Steinman’s sentence was increased to nine years and nine months yesterday, while Roscaleer’s was increased to seven years and four months.

In the early hours of May 8, 2012, the pub’s joint licensees were awoken by the masked men, who were armed with a clawhammer and screwdriver, demanding access to the safe.

The Gunners pub, on Thornton Road, was burgled by Mark Roscaleer and Karl Steinman in May 2012
The Gunners pub, on Thornton Road, was burgled by Mark Roscaleer and Karl Steinman in May 2012
 

They made the pair, who lived above the bar, get out of bed and show them to the safe, having threatened to ‘smash their skulls in’.

Steinman and Roscaleer stole a total of £6,321.68 before making their getaway on a motorbike.

They were arrested later that day at the Red Lion pub in Tarvin, with nearly £4,000 found on them.

Mr Heald, who presented the case in the Court of  Appeal, said: “I asked the Court of Appeal to look  again at these unduly lenient sentences as I believed they failed to reflect the seriousness of the offence and the fact that these violent men used weapons and deliberately targeted the public house.

“I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has increased the sentences and I hope this brings a degree  of comfort to the victims of these terrible crimes.”