Andy Carroll robbery: Man guilty of targeting West Ham striker

Andy Carroll
West Ham United footballer Andy Carroll was threatened by men claiming to be armed with a gun in an attempted robbery.

A man has been found guilty of trying to rob footballer Andy Carroll of his £22,000 wristwatch as the striker drove home from West Ham’s training ground.

Jack O’Brien, 22, had denied attempting to rob the 28-year-old as he waited at traffic lights in Hainault, north-east London, on 2 November last year.

Judge John Lodge sentenced O’Brien to six years behind bars for the failed robbery, as well as a five year, three month sentence for burglaries to run concurrently.

Mr Carroll told Basildon Crown Court he believed O’Brien had a gun when he stopped beside him on a motorbike.

O’Brien, of Navarre Gardens, Romford, claimed he was not the rider.

Jack O'Brien
Jack O’Brien was found by police hiding beneath a mattress.

O’Brien was found by police hiding beneath a mattress in a property in Dagenham 10 days after the attempt.

The footballer told jurors he was “scared” when the motorcycle rider pulled up beside him, said “nice watch” then demanded he give it to him.

Mr Carroll did a U-turn, but was forced to drive on the wrong side of the road as he was pursued back to West Ham’s training ground where there were security staff.

In a 999 call played in court he was heard telling responders: “There’s two motorbikes, one’s behind me pulling out a gun, I don’t know what to do.”

He also said he had “probably just hit about 10 cars” during his getaway.

Police seized a motorcycle helmet, Ducati jacket and a Suzuki motorbike which they believed were used by O’Brien during the attempted robbery.

DNA matching the 22-year-old’s was found on the helmet and jacket, but O’Brien said that while he had used the equipment for other robberies, somebody else was wearing them when Mr Carroll was targeted.

No firearm was found by police. The second motorbike rider has not been located.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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