EPL

Man jailed for 10 years for attempted robbery of Ozil and Kolasinac

By Sports Desk November 08, 2019

A man has been jailed for 10 years for the attempted robbery of Arsenal players Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac.

Ashley Smith, 30, pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery and possession of cannabis when appearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court via video link on October 3.

He was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

A second man, Jordan Northover, also pleaded guilty to attempted robbery on Wednesday and will be sentenced at a later date.

The two men approached the car in which Ozil and Kolasinac were travelling on Platts Lane, Hampstead, north-west London on July 25.

CCTV footage showed one of the suspects threaten Kolasinac with a sharp object while demanding his watch. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international fought the pair off and he and team-mate Ozil, who was in the car with his wife, drove to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they spoke to police.

The Metropolitan Police said the breakthrough in the case came when the moped used in the robbery was found parked in a cul-de-sac in Borehamwood after an alert by a member of the public.

CCTV from a local pub also showed Northover changing clothes shortly after the incident, which were then discovered on nearby grassland.

"We are delighted to have secured such a significant sentence," chief inspector Jim Corbett said in a Metropolitan Police statement.

"Those involved in moped-enabled offending should look at this and decide if they too want to spend the best years of their life in prison, because that is the message that this sends out. Offenders feel that because they wear a helmet or disguise the appearance of a moped or motorcycle that we will not identify who they are. But we can and we do, as evidenced in this case.

"I would like to thank the members of the public who came forward with vital information. It shows that one call can make all the difference, whatever the crime. Also my team, who have worked tirelessly to secure today's conviction."

Ozil and Kolasinac missed Arsenal's opening Premier League game of the season at Newcastle United due to fears for their security in the wake of the incident.

Kolasinac has since played 11 times for the Gunners in all competitions, while Ozil has played in just four matches.

Both are in line to be involved in Saturday's Premier League visit to Leicester City.

Related items

  • De Gea is one of the best keepers in the world, says Man Utd team-mate Matic De Gea is one of the best keepers in the world, says Man Utd team-mate Matic

    David de Gea is one of the best goalkeepers in the world having saved Manchester United many times in his career, according to team-mate Nemanja Matic.

    After a shaky start to life at Old Trafford following his arrival from Atletico Madrid, Spaniard De Gea became a pivotal part of a United team in transition, winning player of the year for three successive seasons.

    However a slip in his previously lofty standards has led to greater scrutiny on his performances, with former Red Devils skipper Roy Keane even declaring he was "sick to death" of the keeper following Tottenham's goal in the 1-1 draw back in June.

    Commenting on Steven Bergwijn's opener on Sky Sports' live coverage of the Premier League fixture, Keane said: "I would be fighting him at half-time. I would be swinging punches at that guy."

    However, speaking to Stats Perform News, Matic explained that while he understands the role of those working in the media, De Gea remains in the top tier at his position.

    "I didn't see what he [Keane] said but I think we have to agree David is one of the best goalkeepers in the world," the United midfielder said  

    "He has saved us many times, saved points. Everyone is allowed to have mistakes - we are human.  

    "The pundits, their job is to say their opinions. They have to speak because one team loses. No problem - we respect them, and we will always try to improve."

    De Gea kept three clean sheets in four league outings after the draw with Spurs, though he was beaten twice as United drew with Southampton on Monday in his 400th appearance for the club.

    The result saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side miss the chance to climb into third place in the table above Chelsea, who duly won 24 hours later against Norwich City to increase the gap to four points.

    Frank Lampard has the Blues on course to qualify for the Champions League and while in direct competition for a top-four finish with his old club, Matic is impressed at the job done by his former team-mate at Stamford Bridge.

    "I am happy for [Frank Lampard], I have to say that he is doing good. Of course we are fighting with them for that Champions League spot, but I have to be honest and say that I am happy he is doing great, because he is a great, great guy," Matic said. 

    "I played with him when I signed for Chelsea in 2009, he was one of the best midfielders in the world, so when I trained with him he was a big example for me as a professional and I am happy for him after being a player, he's continued to do a great job as a manager.

    "I wish him all the best, but of course this season I wish to be ahead of him in the Champions League spots."

  • Rashford to receive honorary degree from University of Manchester Rashford to receive honorary degree from University of Manchester

    Marcus Rashford will receive an honorary degree from the University of Manchester in recognition of his achievements in the fight against child poverty. 

    The England international partnered with FareShare and helped to raise £20million to help provide free meals to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Manchester United striker Rashford also successfully campaigned for the United Kingdom government to extend the scheme for free school meals for underprivileged children into the summer months, ensuring vouchers would stay available. 

    To mark his efforts on and off the field, the university will make the 22-year-old the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate. 

    "It's a proud day for myself and my family. When you look at the great names that have been awarded this doctorate in the past, it's humbling," Rashford said in a statement on United's website.

    "We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction and that means a lot. Thank you to the University of Manchester."

    Club legends Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton have previously received what is the highest honour the university can bestow to an individual.

    "Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field," Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, the University of Manchester's president and vice-chancellor, said. 

    "His work for charity and his high-profile campaign will not only help countless young people across our own city, but across the entire country. 

    "Our university has social responsibility at its core and this sense of civic pride and duty is something we are proud to share with Marcus. That is why the university is delighted to make Marcus our youngest ever recipient of an honorary degree."

  • No European football would be a massive blow for Arsenal - Arteta No European football would be a massive blow for Arsenal - Arteta

    Mikel Arteta acknowledged it will be a "massive blow" if Arsenal miss out on playing European football next season. 

    Arsenal surrendered the lead to lose Sunday's north London derby 2-1 to Tottenham, a result that leaves them ninth in the Premier League table with only three matches remaining. 

    They are still in the FA Cup, meaning they could qualify for the Europa League via that route, though it remains a distinct possibility that next term will see the club not play in European competition for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign. 

    Arteta believes the increased strength of the league has played a part in the Gunners' struggles to qualify through the league, while he also admitted there is much work to be done inside the club. 

    "For everybody [it would be] a massive blow," Arteta, whose side host champions Liverpool on Wednesday, told Sky Sports News.  

    "But a lot of things change and a lot of things [need] changing. And a lot of clubs that were always in their history in the Champions League are now not, so we are not the only ones in that situation. 

    "It's never in the history of the Premier League that you had seven teams at that level competing for those places. 

    "These records are there to break, so it's something that has happened, so obviously we need to know that there is a reason behind it. It's not bad luck, it's not one element or two elements. 

    "It's a lot of things that have to be changed in order to accomplish again the level that we want for this football club." 

    Arteta has already been busy putting his stamp on the squad since his appointment, with Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah among the graduates of Arsenal's youth academy to see plenty of first-team action.

    Several established players could be headed for the exit door but Kieran Tierney – a close-season arrival from Celtic – has flourished since the Premier League's resumption in June, having struggled initially with injuries. 

    And Arteta is delighted to see the versatile left-sided defender find his feet. 

    "I'm so happy for him," Arteta added. "It's been a difficult period for him since he moved, just trying to adapt to a new club, a new city, with the injuries that he had. 

    "His effort, his energy and his willingness is paying off, and it always does long term. 

    "So it's a very clear example that if you keep fighting, keep achieving your goals and you work hard and you are always humble and you are always positive and trying to help, things come your way." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.