THREE men involved in a savage attack which left a village pub spattered with blood have had their “unduly lenient” prison sentences doubled by Court of Appeal judges.

Police chiefs, who along with the Crown Prosecution Service lodged an appeal against the sentences, last night welcomed the decision as a “clear message” to those convicted of serious offences.

The trio were part of a gang of masked men armed with machetes and baseball bats who burst into the Oddfellows Arms in Haswell, near Peterlee, east Durham, after a fallout between rival groups.

As innocent revellers at an 18th birthday party cowered in fear, the attackers set upon Robert Mawson, 40, who was targeted over an unsettled debt. His forearm was cut to the bone with a samurai-type sword as he tried to defend himself.

Three other men were hurt, including a 46-year-old man who was left fighting for his life after his skull was fractured with a baseball bat.

Lewis Jeavons, 21, of Durham Road, Leadgate, Michael Metcalfe 24, of West View Road, Hartlepool, and Eugene Sweeney, 26, of Kingstown, Carlisle, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court in August to conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to others on April 10.

Jeavons was sentenced to four years in prison, while Metcalfe and Sweeney were jailed for three-and-a-half years.

But the police and CPS decided to lodge an appeal against the sentences and this was heard yesterday by three law lords sitting at London’s Court of Appeal.

The appeal was upheld and as a result all three men had their sentences doubled to eight years and seven years respectively.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman, who led the investigation, said: “This was an incident which caused a great deal of alarm and distress at the time and we hope local people will take reassurance from the fact those responsible are now facing a long time behind bars.

“This judgement sends out a clear message that we and the Crown Prosecution Service will do all we can to ensure those convicted of serious offences receive a sentence which is appropriate.”

A warrant is still outstanding for the arrest of a fourth man accused of the conspiracy – Scott Fletcher, 27, of Kilmory Walk, Hartlepool.