Arsenal mugging: Armed attacker who targeted Ozil and Kolasinac jailed for 10 years

8 November 2019, 19:26 | Updated: 8 November 2019, 21:17

An armed mugger who tried to steal watches worth £200,000 from two Arsenal footballers has been jailed for 10 years.

Ashley Smith and accomplice Jordan Northover threatened Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac with a 10-12 inch long screwdriver and a knitting needle outside Kolasinac's home in July.

But the would-be robbers "had not counted" on the bravery of Bosnian defender Kolasinac, who fought back after they approached the players on a stolen moped in Hampstead, north west London, judge Ian Bourne QC said.

Mr Bourne, sitting at Harrow Crown Court, said: "Between them they produced these weapons which they threatened Mr Kolasinac with, a long pointed blade which was thrust in the victim's direction and made contact with him.

"The two of them had not counted on Mr Kolasinac fighting back and he behaved incredibly bravely."

Kolasinac, nicknamed "The Tank", "must have been terrified by the events which took place immediately outside his house," he added.

CCTV showed Kolasinac trying to engage with the attackers, throwing two punches before he got into the car which was then driven away by newlywed Ozil, whose wife was inside.

As the car sped off, the assailants followed it, trying to force it to stop and pelting it with stones, which caused "significant" damage.

Mr Bourne described Smith, of Archway, north London, as a prolific "career criminal".

At the time of the offence, he was out on licence for a 42-month sentence for burglary in 2017 and had been released in connection with a burglary in January.

Officers traced the defendants and arrested them after a member of the public later saw the moped being parked in Boreham Wood and called police.

Smith had previously pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery.

Northover, who also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, will be sentenced at a later date which has yet to be set.