Masked raider loses bid to have sentence slashed

A masked raider who was part of a gang who tried to rob a householder in front of his terrified family, has failed to persuade top judges his sentence was too harsh.

Wolverhampton Crown Court
Wolverhampton Crown Court

Michael Bennett, of Emsworth Crescent, Pendeford, Wolverhampton, was jailed for seven years at Wolverhampton Crown Court in January last year after he was convicted of attempted robbery, London's Appeal Court heard.

Bennett, 28, was one of three masked men who stormed into a home in Coventry in July 2012, demanding £2,000 in cash in the mistaken belief that he was a drug dealer.

The householder's partner and 11-year-old son were forced to look on as one of the robbers threatened to shoot him, putting his hand down his trousers to indicate that he had a gun.

The victim picked up a stool and took on the three raiders, prompting one of them to threaten him with a knife.

The flare-up then spilled outside where the householder followed his attackers down the street as they fled empty-handed.

Bennett's case reached London's Appeal Court as he challenged his sentence, which he claimed was over the top.

Lady Justice Sharp, sitting with Mr Justice Simon and Judge Eleri Rees QC, said the attack was 'pre-planned and with disguises used.'

Bennett was also part of a 'threatening group', although the judge accepted that it was 'not Bennett who picked up and brandished the knife.'

The victim 'bravely managed to get the three men to leave his house', said the judge.

She concluded: "The sentence, although severe, was justified by the circumstances of the case and was not excessive."