Two jailed for Rolex watch robbery after CCTV appeal

Two men who choked a man unconscious to steal his Rolex watch were jailed at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday 21 March.

As reported on WatchPro here last month, the 46-year-old victim was working at a hire shop in Court Road, Greenwich, when the incident happened on 10 February.

Neil Blackwell, 27, of Greenhithe, Kent, and Kevin Ripley, 32, of no fixed abode, each pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery this week.

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Blackwell was jailed for five years and eight months, and Ripley was jailed for four years and six months.

The court heard how the two defendants entered the shop and, in order to steal the victim’s £15,000 Rolex watch, one of them put his arm around the victim’s throat and began to choke him.

While one on them attacked the victim and dragged him to the floor, the other man took the watch from his wrist. Both men made off leaving the victim lying unconscious on the floor.

Thankfully the victim suffered no permanent injury as a result of the attack, but was left highly distressed.

CCTV of the attack was recovered and released in an urgent appeal to find the attackers.

It was as a direct result of the media appeal that information was gathered from the public, leading police to identify and arrest the two suspects.

Blackwell was arrested by Met officers on 19 February at his home in Greenhithe, Kent.

On 21 February, Ripley was arrested in Gravesend by officers from Kent Police.

Both men were subsequently charged and remanded in custody.

Detective constable Andrew Payne of Greenwich CID said: “I must firstly thank all those who supported our appeal. Both these men were quickly arrested as a direct result of the public and media; it was with your help that two dangerous criminals were arrested.

“As for Ripley and Blackwell, the violence and viciousness of this robbery is apparent to anyone who watches the CCTV. These two men were reckless in their use of force and it was mere good fortune that the victim was not seriously injured. I am sure the public will be relieved to see them brought to justice.”



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