AP NEWS

Judge praises Kolasinac bravery as armed mugger jailed

November 8, 2019 GMT

LONDON (AP) — An armed mugger was jailed for 10 years on Friday after attempting to rob Arsenal soccer players Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac of luxury watches worth 200,000 pounds ($255,000).

Harrow Crown Court in London heard that Ashley Smith and his accomplice did not count on Bosnia defender Kolasinac fighting back.

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

Both players were unharmed.

The 30-year-old Smith was described by the judge, Ian Bourne, as a prolific “career criminal” who was well known to police.

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

Smith and Jordan Northover, 26, had been circling the area when they targeted the players.

The judge said that Kolasinac “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.”

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

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