Kidnap pair have jail term hiked

Two robbers who kidnapped a father after bursting into his family home brandishing weapons have had their “unduly lenient” prison sentences increased by top judges.

Ryan Walker, 27, of Park Drive, Liversedge, and Shaun George Clough, 22, of Hare Park Avenue, Hightown, were both jailed for attempted robbery, false imprisonment and kidnap at Leeds Crown Court in May.

Walker, who also admitted unlawful wounding, conspiracy to produce cannabis and attempted burglary, was handed a seven and a half year term, while Clough was jailed for six years.

Following an application by Solicitor General Edward Garnier QC, three senior judges at London’s Court of Appeal this week increased both men’s jail terms to nine years.

Lord Justice Hooper told the court the pair broke into the Heckmondwike home of Wayne Routledge last November, armed with baseball bats and knives.

He said Walker cut Mr Routledge with a knife during the attack, which was carried out while his two young daughters were upstairs.

The father was then blindfolded, put into a back of a car and driven around before being dumped in the road, the court heard.

The judge said the two little girls were terrified by the attack, and it was clear when they gave evidence at Clough’s trial that they would be mentally scarred for the rest of their lives.

Walker, who also admitted a role in running a cannabis factory, was on bail at the time, awaiting sentence for an attempted burglary in which he had been foiled by a brave homeowner.

Clough, who it was said played a lesser role in the raid on Mr Routledge’s home, was on licence from prison after being released early from a sentence for robbery.

Alison Morgan, for the Solicitor General, told judges that considering the gravity of the offences, and both men’s significant criminal records, their jail terms were “unduly lenient”.

After hearing her submissions, Mr Justice Hooper branded the crimes “grossly threatening, violent and frightening” and upped both sentences to nine years.