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Greenhithe thief jailed for choking man unconscious to steal £15,000 Rolex watch in Mottingham

PUBLISHED: 10:46 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:46 22 March 2016

Stolen Rolex

Stolen Rolex

Archant

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

Kevin RipleyKevin Ripley

Two men have been jailed after choking a man unconscious in Mottingham to steal his Rolex watch worth £15,000.

Neil Blackwell, 27, formerly of London Road, Greenhithe, and Kevin Ripley, 32, of no fixed abode, had each pleaded guilty to a charges of robbery at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday.

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

The court heard how at 1.39pm on February 10, the 46-year-old victim was working at a hire shop in Court Road, Greenwich.

Neil BlackwellNeil Blackwell

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

While one of 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, suffering no permanent injury, but 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 before Ripley was arrested by Kent Police officers in Gravesend two days later.

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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