An armed mugger has been jailed for 10 years for attempting to rob two Arsenal footballers of luxury watches worth £200,000.
Ashley Smith and his accomplice, who were both wielding knives, did not count on the bravery of the club’s Bosnian defender Sead Kolašinac in fighting back, Harrow crown court heard.
His teammate Mesut Özil then drove them from the ambush as the would-be robbers pursued the footballers on a stolen moped and threw stones, the court was told.
Smith, 30, who was described by the judge, Ian Bourne QC, as a prolific career criminal well known to the police, was on licence from a 42-month sentence for burglary in 2017 when he tried to rob the Arsenal players.
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 near Kolašinac’s home in Hampstead, north-west London, on 25 July.
The judge said Smith, who appeared in court via video link, played a leading role in the “very serious” attempted robbery with Jordan Northover, 26.
The would-be robbers used a stolen moped and wore helmets and dark clothing to try to conceal their identities.
Northover is to be sentenced at an undetermined later date.