Thief who attempted to steal footballer Andy Carroll’s watch and burgled Essex homes is jailed

PUBLISHED: 00:54 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 00:54 02 September 2017

Jack O'Brien. Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Jack O'Brien. Picture: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

A “brazen” burglar who broke into homes across Essex including one in Lamarsh amid a prolific crime spree has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Jack O’Brien used a stolen motorbike to commit most of his crimes and mainly took jewellery from properties while the residents were out.

The 22-year-old, of Navarre Gardens, Romford, has admitted burgling homes in Twinstead Road, Lamarsh; Church Lane, White Roding; Green Street, Ingatestone; and Woodland View, Little Hallingbury.

He also attempted to burgle a property in Main Road, Rettendon

O’Brien was already wanted by Essex Police when he was arrested in November 2016 by Metropolitan Police for the attempted robbery of Premier League footballer Andy Carroll.

After riding alongside Carroll’s car at traffic lights in Chigwell, O’Brien demanded he hand over his watch and pretended to have a gun.

West Ham striker Carroll managed to get away before calling police.

O’Brien was arrested on November 12 last year and charged with the attempted robbery of Carroll, which he denied, and stood trial at Basildon Crown Court on August 29.

He was convicted by a jury on September 1.

O’Brien was sentenced to a total of six years for attempted robbery, five years three months for burglary offences and 18 months for handling stolen goods to run concurrently with the other terms. He will spend half of his sentence in custody and the rest on licence.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Sergeant David Wilkinson, of Brentwood CID, said: “O’Brien is a prolific offender who was willing to travel long distances to commit crime.

“He was brazen in his approach, ensuring victims were not at home by knocking at the front door on most occasions but was willing to confront victims and witnesses if necessary.

“In the case of the attempted robbery, he was willing to use threats and intimidation to frighten his victim, who fortunately managed to escape without injury.

“O’Brien was arrested following extensive enquiries by Essex Police and our colleagues in neighbouring forces and I’d like to thank all those witnesses who assisted with those investigations, which undoubtedly played a key part in bringing him to justice.”

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