Collier Row man accused of trying to rob West Ham star Andy Carroll in Hainault, was a serial burglar, court hears

PUBLISHED: 17:28 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:28 30 August 2017

West Ham United's Andy Carroll. Picture: PA

West Ham United's Andy Carroll. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

A man accused of attempting to rob West Ham footballer Andy Carroll of his watch used the same motorbike in a string of burglaries, a jury has heard.

West Ham striker Carroll was targeted by a male motorcyclist who, the player believed, had a gun, as he drove his green Jeep Wrangler home to Chigwell from training, Basildon Crown Court was told.

Jack O’Brien, 22, of Navarre Gardens, Collier Row, denies attempting to rob the England-capped 28-year-old on November 2.

Simon Gladwell, prosecuting, said police arrested O’Brien at a house in Dagenham 10 days later, where they found him in the front bedroom “hiding in the bedframe under the mattress”.

A crash helmet and Ducati jacket were seized from the property, and a Suzuki motorbike was seized from the back garden.

“The motorcycle used in the alleged attempted robbery was the same motorcycle that was seized at the time of Jack O’Brien’s arrest,” said Mr Gladwell.

He said the rider of the bike used in the alleged attempted robbery wore the same crash helmet and jacket seized at the time of O’Brien’s arrest.

Mr Gladwell then detailed a string of burglaries, to which O’Brien pleaded guilty in April 2017, in which items including jewellery, watches and cash were stolen. The offences happened in October and November 2016.

“At the time of each of the burglaries Jack O’Brien used the same motorcycle that was used in the attempted robbery of Andy Carroll,” said Mr Gladwell.

He said that in each of the burglaries O’Brien also used the same crash helmet and jacket worn by the biker in the attempted robbery of Carroll.

Carroll previously told the court he was “scared” when a motorcyclist approached him at traffic lights in Romford Road, Hainault, and demanded he hand over his watch as he returned home from West Ham’s training ground.

In a 999 call played to the jury, the 6ft 4in footballer said: “There’s two motorbikes, one’s behind me pulling out a gun, I don’t know what to do.”

After a pursuit, he arrived back at West Ham’s training ground, in Rush Green, and said: “I’ve probably just hit about 10 cars on the way here.”

Michael Edmonds, defending, said O’Brien was not the biker.

He said O’Brien had used the motorcycle, jacket and helmet for crime before, but that it was not him using the bike on this occasion.

The trial continues.

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