Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw – both originally from Huddersfield – were found guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to rob following a three-week trial at Exeter Crown Court last year.
Yesterday at the Court of Appeal, Bradshaw, 33, had his 18-year sentence cut to 10 years, and Liverpool, 36, who was originally given a life sentence with a minimum term of 10 years and eight months, had his minimum reduced to six-and-a-half years.
The pair drove from their Manchester flat to Miss Stone’s home in Devon with an arsenal of weapons, including a sword and two hammers, to rob and kill her of more than £1m in June 2011.
Giving the ruling, Mr Justice Bean said it had dismissed Liverpool’s appeal against his life sentence. He said the court “cannot accept” arguments on his behalf that the “clumsy and badly-planned” conspiracy was not so serious as to qualify Liverpool for a life sentence.
Taking into account the 22 months spent in custody before sentencing, Liverpool becomes eligible to apply for parole in December 2017, although the judges stresses they were not ordering that he was released then.
On Bradshaw’s appeal, the judge said he was “of exceptionally low intellectual capacity”, and noted that Liverpool was the instigator and Bradshaw was the foot soldier. Mr Justice Bean said that had he been more intelligent “he would have realised that the chances of a successful and profitable robbery were so remote as not to be worth attempting”.
The reduction reflected the reduction to Liverpool’s minimum term.