The would-be robbers used a stolen moped, were dressed in helmets and dark clothing to try and conceal their identities.

Armed mugger jailed for 10 years after attempting to rob Arsenal duo

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  • 2019-11-09 02:10:18 2 months ago
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An armed mugger has been jailed for 10 years after attempting to rob Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac of luxury watches worth £200,000.

Harrow Crown Court heard that Ashley Smith and his accomplice did not count on the bravery of Bosnian defender Kolasinac in fighting back.

Ozil then drove them from the ambush as the would-be robbers pursued them on a stolen moped and threw stones, the court heard.

Kolasinac – Ozil knife attack
Ashley Smith (left) and Jordan Northover (Met Police/PA)

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 pair.

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

Smith, of Archway, north London, had previously pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery just feet from Kolasinac's home in Hampstead, north west London, on July 25.

The judge said Smith, who appeared in court by videolink, had a "leading role" in the "very serious" attempted robbery with Jordan Northover, 26.

The would-be robbers used a stolen moped, were dressed in helmets and dark clothing to try and conceal their identities.

Kolasinac – Ozil knife attack
CCTV of Ashley Smith and Jordan Northover trying to rob Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil (Met Police/PA)

Smith and Northover had been circling the area and on the look-out for a victim when they targeted the players.

Kolasinac had arranged to meet Ozil who was in a car with his newlywed wife, the court heard.

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

Smith and Northover were "armed and dangerous" and were using a knitting needle and a pointed screwdriver as weapons, according to the judge.

He 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."

At this point Mr Kolasinac may have felt the robbers would have done "anything they needed to obtain the watches", the judge noted.

The weapons were described as a 10-12 inch long screwdriver with a thin steel coloured spike and a smaller darker instrument that was probably about six inches long.

The court heard that footage showed Mr Kolasinac attempting to engage with the culprits, but he was able to get in the car which was then driven away by Ozil.

The judge noted: "But that was not the end of it. The two men pursued the car along the high road and attempted to stop the vehicle, throwing stones at the car."

The players managed to flee, but the stones caused "significant" vehicle damage.

The judge added that "fortunately for justice" an alert member of the public later saw the moped being parked in Boreham Wood and called police.

CCTV of Ashley Smith and Jordan Northover
CCTV of Ashley Smith and Jordan Northover (Met Police/PA)

Officers were able to trace the defendants and arrest them.

The judge stated that Smith has "an appalling criminal record" of 20 convictions from 38 offences dating back to when he was 14 years old.

Assault, theft, burglary, driving without a licence and breaching a community order are among some of the offences.

Defence lawyer Susan Meek told the court that Smith had described the ambush as "a scummy thing to do and that when he takes drugs these are the things he ends up doing".

Smith was also ordered to pay £181 in a victim surcharge.

Northover is to be sentenced at a later date which has yet to be set.

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Armed mugger jailed for 10 years after attempting to rob Arsenal duo

Manchester United hand manager Casey Stoney new contract

Manchester United Women manager Casey Stoney has agreed a contract extension.

Stoney, 37, who became head coach of the newly formed team last year, is set to stay in charge until at least 2022.

"I am extremely proud to be involved with Manchester United and I am honoured to be head coach of such an incredibly hard working and talented team," said Stoney.

"I would like to thank the club and the fantastic support they have given me since we started this journey and for the trust in what we are building here."

Stoney, who played for Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, and was capped 130 times by England, guided United to glory in the FA Women's Championship, earning promotion to the Women's Super League.

"I must give thanks to my players and staff for the high standards we have set during the last months both on and off the pitch," added Stoney, who took charge in June 2018.

"We have a special group that epitomise the values of Manchester United, and there is a hugely exciting future ahead."

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Graham Potter expecting "very difficult" Manchester United test

Brighton manager Graham Potter insists Manchester United are on the brink of recapturing their success ahead of his side's trip to Old Trafford.

United have won just three of their last 16 Premier League matches, and host the Seagulls following a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side responded with a 3-0 victory against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday evening, yet despite their poor domestic form, Potter is braced for a difficult encounter.

"Old Trafford is one of the best places in world football and with that comes a quality of opposition," said Potter.

"Apart from the Bournemouth game, they have been unlucky with their results, and they have had performances to suggest they could get more. They are a team in transition, with young and very talented players.

"Sometimes at the big clubs the expectancy is to win, and when they don't the panic can be bigger than it is at other clubs.

"But they are not far away from being successful. They have got international players, a good manager and we expect a very difficult game. We are going to go there, enjoy it, and accept the challenge."

Brighton head into Sunday's game two places and two points above United in eighth. They will equal their club Premier League record of three consecutive victories if they win at Old Trafford.

Potter however, will be without defender Adam Webster, who could be out until Christmas following an ankle injury.

The £20million summer signing from Bristol City damaged his ligaments in Brighton's win against Norwich last weekend.

"Adam has had a good week, and responded quite well to everything," added Potter. "I don't like to put a timescale on it but we are looking at Christmas.

"Sometimes with ligaments, you can be talking months. Hopefully it is weeks but we don't like to lose anybody."

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