A BARNSLEY man who went on the run before being sent to jail for over six years has had his sentence cut.

Samuel Jonathon Hearne, 39, had a "close relationship" with burglars who hit 19 houses in the Barnsley and Wakefield areas.

The burglaries took place during a six-week crime spree between March and April last year.

Hearne, of Pleasant View, Cudworth, went on the run after being arrested but was eventually jailed for six years four months at Sheffield Crown Court in December.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen goods and failure to surrender.

However, Lady Justice Sharp, Mr Justice Blake and Judge Alistair McCreath, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, have cut that sentence to four years and two weeks.

The court heard how the burglars targeted 19 homes, stealing eight cars and thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.

Also taken was a laptop containing thousands of precious family photos.

Hearne was acquitted of being one of the burglars, but pleaded guilty to passing on the proceeds of the crimes.

Mr Justice Blake, allowing Hearne's appeal, agreed that the sentence was over the top, given the prosecution case and the limited nature of Hearne's admissions.

He concluded: "We consider there is force in the suggestion that the sentence for handling was manifestly excessive.

"We quash the sentence of six years and substitute a sentence of four years instead."