Inside man in hotel raid fails in bid to have jail sentence cut

The Village Hotel in Silverlink

The Village Hotel in Silverlink

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THE inside-man in a £6,000 robbery at a North East hotel deserved every day of his prison sentence, top judges have ruled.

Carl Riley, 24, of Gregory Road, Sunderland, was night shift manager at the Village Hotel, at Silverlink, North Tyneside, when a robber struck in October 2012.

He was fully involved in the robbery. His employment was the key to commission of the offence.

Mr Justice Stewart

Although he was locked into a cupboard with another member of staff, it was discovered that Riley was in on the crime and he was arrested.

In June last year, after pleading guilty to robbery, he was jailed for three years and nine months at Newcastle Crown Court.

Today, appeal judges Mr Justice Stewart, Lord Justice Treacy and Mrs Justice Simler said that was richly deserved.

“He was acting in breach of trust,” said Mr Justice Stewart. “He was fully involved in the robbery. His employment was the key to commission of the offence.”

The Court of Appeal heard the hotel was raided in the early hours of the morning by criminal Andrew Ross.

The robber entered with his face masked and, brandishing a knife, demanded money.

After locking Riley and another member of staff in a cupboard, he escaped with more than £6,000.

Lawyers for Riley today argued that the sentence he got was too long when seen alongside that imposed on Ross.

Ross had been jailed for 11-and-a-half years, but that sentence was for a much longer list of crimes, the court heard.

He had attempted an armed robbery at a post office and blackmailed a car dealer in a protection racket.

He was caught out when he pulled a knife on an undercover police officer, who was posing as a pizza delivery man.

Rejecting Riley’s appeal, Mr Justice Stewart said his sentence was fair when seen alongside Ross’s.

“We don’t consider that right-thinking members of the public would think something had gone wrong with the administration of justice,” he said.

“The appeal is dismissed.”