Three thugs locked up after possessing a sub-machine gun that was used to murder a West Norwood man as he relaxed on a sofa have had their sentences dramatically cut by top judges.

Lemuel Robinson, 28, Shubiah Linton, 28, and Andrew Oliver Cross, 29, were all prosecuted for possessing the "spray and pray" Mac 10 machine gun.

The fearsome weapon was used to gun down 24-year-old Larry Malone as he sat on the sofa of his aunt's Harpenden Road home just before 1am on Thursday, September 3, 2009, London's Appeal Court heard. Mr Malone was shot seven times before the gun jammed and his attacker fled. The three men were sentenced on the basis that they must have known what the gun had been used for "in general terms", Lord Justice Pitchford told London's Criminal Appeal Court.

The gun was passed to a woman after Mr Malone's murder and Robinson, of Collingwood Road, Sutton, and Cross, of Chryssell Road, Brixton, ensured that the gun was successfully hidden.

Linton, of no known address, was earmarked as the intended recipient of the weapon, which was wrapped in a baby's nightdress and hidden in a rucksack.

Lord Justice Pitchford said in relation to Robinson and Cross: "They were ready and able to ensure that the weapon was successfully removed from the area to be retained for an occasion when it would be needed".

Robinson and Cross were cleared of Mr Malone's murder at the Old Bailey in November last year, but convicted of possessing a prohibited weapon and ammunition.

Robinson received a 10-year term, while Cross was jailed for eleven and a half years.

Linton had pleaded guilty to possessing a gun and ammunition, receiving a nine-year term.

Lord Justice Pitchford, sitting with Mr Justice Lloyd Jones and Judge William Davis QC, ruled the total sentences imposed on Robinson and Cross were excessive, substituting respective terms of seven and a half and nine years.

Linton's sentence was also too long since he had no idea of the "nature of the weapon which he had agreed to hold", said the judge. His sentence was cut from nine to seven and a half years.

Two other people, Shevonne Legister and Dino Rouillon, were jailed for pleading guilty to possession of a prohibitive weapon.

Two others, Shevonne Legister and Dino Rouillon, were also jailed last year after pleading guilty to possession of a prohibitive weapon.

Legister, 21, of Wolfington Road, West Norwood, was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to possession of a prohibitive weapon. She was also found guilty to assisting an offender, for which she received two years to run concurrently.

Rouillon, 34, of Croydon, was jailed for five years and nine months.