sport news Armed mugger jailed for 10 years for attempting to rob Arsenal footballers

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Ashley Smith, 30, (pictured) pleaded guilty to trying to steal from Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court today

Ashley Smith, 30, (pictured) pleaded guilty to trying to steal from Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court today

A moped mugger who tried to rob two Arsenal stars of their £200,000 watches armed with knives, a screwdriver and knitting needle has been jailed for 10 years.

Ashley Smith, 30, pleaded guilty to the 'quick and violent' attempted robbery in which he and accomplice, Jordan Northover, 26, tried to steal the player's watches in Hampstead, northwest London on July 25. 

CCTV footage shows Kolasinac, known as 'The Tank', jumping out of the passenger seat of Mesut Ozil's £165,000 4x4 to fight off Jordan Northover, 26, who prods him with a sharp knitting needle, while Smith sits on a moped.

The robbers ambushed the players when Ozil was picking up one of the luxury timepieces which had both been delivered to his teammate's address.

Northover jabbed Kolasinac with the needle in front of Ozil's newlywed wife who watched in horror from the car.

Playmaker Ozil, who earns £350,000 per-week, then sped away down the wrong side of a mansion-lined road in Childs Hill on July 25 and took refuge at a Turkish restaurant.

Smith and Northover admitted attempting to rob the two Arsenal footballers at Harrow Crown Court.

Smith appeared in court today via video-link and masked his face with a blue scarf.

He remained expressionless but his mother sobbed in the public gallery as he was jailed 10 years.

Sead Kolasinac (muzzed by police) turns to face the moped gang trying to rob him and Mesut Ozil for their £200,000 watches and didn't flinch as he tried to beat them up despite the knife

Sead Kolasinac (muzzed by police) turns to face the moped gang trying to rob him and Mesut Ozil for their £200,000 watches and didn't flinch as he tried to beat them up despite the knife 

The masked men appeared ready to stab the Arsenal star but police today praised the footballer and said the robbers 'didn't bargain for him fighting back'

The masked men appeared ready to stab the Arsenal star but police today praised the footballer and said the robbers 'didn't bargain for him fighting back'

Smith, 30 - who was described by judge Ian Bourne QC as a prolific 'career criminal' who was well known to police - was out on licence for a 42-month sentence for burglary in 2017 when he tried to carry out the street robbery on the Arsenal stars. 

He had been released in connection with a burglary offence in January. 

Jailing him the judge said: 'An offence of attempted robbery took place on July 25 this year when him and another man attempted to rob the victims of watches said to be values at £200,000.

'I have also been assisted by watching film from CCTV which have shown some of the events that took place in this residential area of London, indeed within feet of the address where Kolasinac was living on July 25 this year.

'The two defendants had planned this crime, I'm satisfied, although it's not possible to say whether they were targeting these two individuals.

'It's fair to say they planned this attack with great care, armed themselves with pointed weapons capable of causing significant injury one said to be a knitting needle one said to be a screwdriver.

'They had stolen a moped and they were disguised in dark clothing and helmets so they could not be recognised.

'It is clear they had been looking for candidates to rob and they can be seen driving up and down the road in the period before this attempt took place.

Jordan Northover, 26, has pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to attempting to rob the Premier League stars with Kolasinac running down the pavement trying to fight them.

Jordan Northover, of West Yorkshire, (pictured) admitted attempted robbery and will be sentenced at a date to be fixed

'It is said and it is obvious that both of these defendants are prolific career criminals.

'They recognised an opportunity to rob both victims and Mr Ozil who was in the vehicle with his newly wed wife and they moved in armed and dangerous.

'They positioned the moped closely next to the vehicle and between them produced these weapons which they threatened Mr Kolasinac with and it's clear were thrust in the victim's direction and made contact with him.

'It is clear the two of them hadn't counted on Mr Kolasinac fighting back and he behaved incredibly bravely with knives pointed in his direction at a time when he knew he was in possession of

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