Two men who plotted to rob security guards have had their prison sentences increased.
Thomas Bailey and Paul Anthony Oliver were both sentenced to 14 years in prison and four years on extended licence in September at Newcastle Crown Court.
But the Court of Appeal has increased the sentences for both men to 23 year, of which 19 will be custodial.
The pair, described as dangerous criminals, carried out sophisticated surveillance on security drivers delivering cash to convenience stores in North Tyneside and Seaton Delaval.
However, unbeknown to the pair as they conspired to commit the robberies they were being watched by police in an undercover operation.
They were eventually arrested after carrying out a separate late night burglary on the Salutation Inn, in Front Street, Tynemouth.
Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in August the pair were found guilty.
Oliver, 45, of Watch House Close, North Shields, was convicted with three counts of conspiracy to burgle; three counts of conspiracy to rob; robbery; possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Bailey, 38, of Falstaff Road, North Shields, was convicted with three counts of conspiracy to burgle; three counts of conspiracy to rob; robbery; possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Milner, of Northumbria Police’s Crime Department, said: “We are extremely pleased that the Court of Appeal has today decided that the original sentences handed down to these two offenders was not sufficient given the severity of their crimes.
“We welcome the increased time they will spend in jail. It sends a clear message to other offenders that crimes of this nature will attract substantial prison terms.”
He added: “This organised crime group planned a series of armed robberies across the North Tyneside area.
“They used extremely sophisticated surveillance equipment to carry out their surveillance of the security drivers.
“They used a fleet of vehicles bearing false number plates they produced themselves from a stolen number plate making machine they had earlier stolen in a burglary.
“However, little did they know whilst they were conducting their surveillance we were conducting our own surveillance on them and were watching their movements.
“With the assistance of the community working together we were able to apprehend the group and put them before the courts which has led to the sentences now imposed.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure the public, these men who clearly had the potential to be very dangerous are now behind bars and will be, for a significant amount of time.
“Northumbria Police has dedicated staff working tirelessly to disrupt and dismantle the activities of organised criminals, and we will continue to pursue anyone that is involved in organised crime.”
The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, who referred those sentences to the Court of Appeal, said: “Oliver and Bailey were professional criminals, committing robberies which were sophisticated and involved a high degree of planning.
“The pair made it clear that they would use violence against anyone who got in their way and the offences had a terrible impact on those who were targeted.
“I felt that the original sentences ought to have been higher because of the number of offences against separate victims and I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has increased the sentences to 19 years.”
To read the original story on the case at Newcastle Crown Court visit www.newsguardian.co.uk/news/local/dangerous-robbers-are-jailed-for-14-years-after-carrying-out-three-raids-1-7475078