Thug nicknamed ‘Bin Laden’ fails to get sentence reduced

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A “dangerous” thug who terrorised pensioners in their home near Wigan has failed to get a 22-year jail term slashed.

Craig Lister, 34, was jailed at Bolton Crown Court on August 4 last year.

He was ordered to serve an extra three years on licence following his release after the judge condemned him as a public danger.

Lister, who has the gangland nickname of Bin Laden because of his lust for violence, admitted three burglary conspiracies, two of them aggravated, as well as a robberies plot and handling stolen goods.

Between November 2013 and March 2014, Lister was part of a “highly-organised criminal gang” operating in the Merseyside area, Judge Eleri Rees told London’s Appeal Court.

Goods valued £250,000 were stolen including high-value cars, cash and jewellery.

Some of the break-ins “clearly targeted the Chinese community” looking for jewellery, watches and other valuables. Machetes, knives and meat cleavers were used in some of the crimes.

In March 2014, Lister and others smashed their way into the home of a 78-year-old man and his wife on Dicconson Lane near Westhoughton’s border with Aspull, said the judge.

Lister, of Gleneagles Road, Childwall, Liverpool, held a knife to the man’s throat and threatened to kill him unless he told him where the money was. Cash, jewellery, watches and lawfully-held firearms were stolen and the couple were locked in the bathroom.

Lawyers for Lister did not dispute that he is “dangerous” but argued that 22 years was far too tough tough and he did not get enough credit for his guilty pleas.

But Judge Rees, who was sitting with Lord Justice Simon and Mr Justice Nicol, said the appeal was “without merit” and the “grounds are not arguable.”

She concluded Lister’s jail term “cannot be viewed as anything other than a proper response to the serious criminality involved in these offences.”

Two other men involved in the Merseyside crimes also failed to get their jail terms cut.

Jack Hunter, 21, of Castlefield Road, Liverpool, admitted a burglary plot and was convicted of an aggravated burglary conspiracy. He got 16 years’ detention in a young offenders institution. Daniel Jackson Challinor, 22, of Croxdale Road, Liverpool, got 12 years for his part in the offences. He admitted involvement in conspiracies to commit aggravated burglary, burglary and robbery as well as handling stolen goods.

Among Lister’s accomplices in the Westhoughton attack was Shaun Gaskell, 35, of Maple Crescent, Leigh, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and was jailed for six years. Wayne Duckworth, 33, of Park Road, and Raymond Dallimore, 59, of Church Street, both in Westhoughton, were found guilty after a trial and sentenced to nine years and 12 and a half years respectively.

After that hearing Det Sgt Richard Castley from GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit said: “Whatever the motive there can be absolutely no excuse nor justification for subjecting this elderly couple to a terrifying ordeal within the sanctity of their own home.”