A man, who worked alongside two others, to steal £16,000 worth of goods from a farm in Tarvin following a grudge with the owner have been sentenced.

Theo Constantinou, aged 64, of Houghtons Lane in Eccleston was sentenced to 12 years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, August 14.

Michael Allen, aged 55, of Windle Street in St Helens, and Mark Bennett, aged 48, of Rodney Street in St Helens, both pleaded guilty to robbery on July 24, 2017, and were each sentenced to nine years.

At 7.30pm on Saturday, February 11, 2017, the men, all wearing masks to conceal their identity, forced their way into the farm and assaulted a man and a woman inside. The assault left the man with life changing injuries.

The trio ransacked the property, stealing numerous items before fleeing the scene in a Toyota.

On the same day, the Toyota used as the getaway vehicle was later found abandoned in St Helens having been set on fire.

Police were able to identify Bennett through DNA found on his mask after he dropped it while leaving the scene.

Following Bennett’s arrest, officers seized his phone with records showing he was in close contact with Allen who was subsequently arrested.

The court heard how the men were in close contact with each other between January 1 and February 17 in the run up to the robbery. It is during this period where they conspired to plan their crime.

On sentencing Constantinou, Judge Simon Berkson said it was the meticulous police work carried out by Chester CID that led to the exposure of the conspiracy.

Detective Constable Steve Owens, of Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “Constantinou was the man behind coordinating this robbery which led to one of the victims receiving life changing injuries over what I would describe as a minor civil dispute.

“It is down to the commitment of officers working on this case who found significant evidence, which left Allen and Bennett with no choice but to plead guilty.

“It has been a sad case but ultimately justice has been served and the judge has handed those involved significant sentences which reflect their crime.”