Man jailed for trying to rob Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac

Media caption,
Arsenal star confronts carjackers in London

An armed mugger who tried to rob Arsenal footballers Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac has been jailed.

Ashley Smith admitted attempting to steal luxury watches worth £200,000 from the pair in Hampstead, north-west London.

A second man, Jordan Northover, 26, has also admitted his role in the robbery.

Smith, 30, of Archway in north London, was jailed for 10 years at Harrow Crown Court on Friday. Northover will be sentenced at a later date.

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

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Arsenal said both Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were fine after the attempted carjacking

CCTV footage showed Kolasinac chasing off two masked attackers on 25 July.

In a video that circulated on social media, the 26-year-old Bosnian defender could be seen fighting off two knife-wielding men.

Smith was described by Judge Ian Bourne QC as a prolific "career criminal" who was well known to the police.

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

He was out on licence for a 42-month sentence for burglary in 2017 when he tried to rob the Arsenal duo.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Ashley Smith (left) and Jordan Northover both admitted trying to rob the Arsenal stars

The court heard Smith and his accomplice did not count on the bravery of Kolasinac in fighting back.

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

The weapons were described as a 10-12 inch long screwdriver and a smaller instrument about six inches long.

The players managed to flee but stones thrown at their vehicle caused "significant" damage.

Kolasinac and the Germany midfielder were left out of the Arsenal side ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after the attack.

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