A member of an gang which targeted scores of homes in Macclesfield, Wilmslow, Poynton and Knutsford has had his sentence slashed on appeal.

Peter Clarke, 28, was one of three men who admitted taking a vast quantity of precious jewellery from homes during a four-month crime spree in Cheshire and Lancashire.

He admitted conspiracy to burgle homes in Lancashire and was jailed for four years and eight months at Burnley Crown Court in February.

But today, two senior judges at the Court of Appeal said that was too long and slashed the sentence by a year.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom said the sentencing judge had intended that the father-of-three serve the same as accomplice James McMillan.

The court heard that the Oldham-based gang targeted homes when they were unoccupied, stealing jewellery of ‘high monetary and high-sentimental value’.

They used a car with a false number plate as they trawled the two counties looking for empty properties in late 2013.

Their spree took them from Nelson and Fence, in Lancs, to Macclesfield, Wilmslow and Knutsford, in Cheshire.

Clarke was caught first and jailed in January last year for two years and four months.

He had admitted two Cheshire burglaries and asked for 30 more to be taken into consideration.

His four-and-a-half year sentence for the Lancashire raids came later when his accomplices had also been caught.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting today with Judge Alistair McCreath, said the effect of having two separate terms was that Clarke would serve longer than McMillan.

‘The judge clearly intended to sentence McMillan and Clarke with parity,’ he continued. ‘It didn’t have that effect.’

He quashed the sentence and imposed a sentence of three years and eight months, consecutive to the Cheshire term.

‘Like McMillan, he will serve an aggregate sentence of six years for the totality of his offending,’ he concluded.

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