Man who admitted attempted robbery of Arsenal stars Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac in Hampstead has sentence reduced on appeal
PUBLISHED: 12:17 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:17 10 June 2020
A “career criminal” from Islington has had his jail sentence for attempting to rob two Arsenal stars in Hampstead reduced to six years.
Ashley Smith, 30 was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in November for his part in an attempt to steal watches worth £200,000 from Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil in Platt’s Lane last year.
But three Court of Appeal judges ruled on June 9 that his term should be cut.
The court heard that Smith, from Cardinals Way, Islington, had with accomplice Jordan Northover been on a stolen moped looking for a victim, when they targeted the footballers.
Mr Kolasinac was outside his home holding the package of watches while waiting for his teammate and his wife to arrive in a “highly valuable” car.
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The footballer was putting the package into the car, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said, when he was ambushed by the robbers who drove at him “at speed” and mounted the pavement.
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Smith got off the moped and demanded Mr Kolasinac, 26, hand over the package, at one point brandishing what was said to be a knitting needle.
Kolasinac was able to get into the car, and the occupants were able to escape.
Smith and Northover later left the stolen moped in Borehamwood, in Hertfordshire, and changed their clothes, but police were able to trace them.
Smith, who was out on licence for a 42-month sentence for burglary in 2017 at the time, pleaded guilty to the attempted robbery at Harrow Crown Court last October, with Northover doing so in November.
Smith was described by sentencing judge Ian Bourne QC as a prolific “career criminal” who was well known to police.
Mr Bourne said that Smith and Northover were “armed and dangerous” when they carried out the attack on the footballers, saying: “The two of them had not counted on Mr Kolasinac fighting back and he behaved incredibly bravely.”
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The appeal judges agreed with Susan Meek, barrister for Smith, that his jail term for the offence was excessive.
Ms Meek said: “The facts were unpleasant and serious and almost all the features of a robbery were present, but there was one feature which was not present, which is that no goods in fact were stolen.”
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