FOUR drinkers jailed after they were involved in a violent incident outside a Manchester pub have been freed after a hearing at London's Appeal Court.

Hannah Rose McAtee, aged 28, of St James Street, Farnworth, Bolton, and her sister, Claire McAtee, aged 26, of Cleggs Lane, Little Hulton, near Walkden, were jailed for 18 months each at Liverpool Crown Court in December after they pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Also jailed for a year each were Anthony William Schofield, aged 32, of Captain Fold Road, Little Hulton, and Gregory Lewis, aged 31, of Jackson Street, Cheadle, Cheshire, who admitted the same offence.

But Lord Justice Keene, sitting with Mr Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Mackay at the Appeal Court in London, yesterday cut their sentences to community punishment orders - ruling the original sentences were "manifestly excessive".

The judge said the four had been drinking in a Manchester city-centre bar when an argument broke out among them and the licensee. The squabbling quickly descended into violence which then spread outside into the street.

Lawyers on behalf of the four argued that the sentences meted out were simply too long - stressing their previous good characters.

And, ruling they should all be freed - with the two sisters to serve a 160-hour community punishment order and Schofield and Lewis 120 hours each - Lord Justice Keene said: "This was an ugly incident in which the McAtee sisters were the main offenders.

"The seriousness of the offence lies in the number of people involved.

"However, while ugly, the nature of the violence did not involve bottles, knives or weapons."