Hammer thieves jailed for stealing £6,800 Rolex watch from victim’s wrist

Nicholas Owen and Callum Halkyard snatched a £6,800 Rolex watch from the man’s wrist and stole three mobile phones and a bank card before fleeing a taxi.

Leeds Crown Court recently heard the victim was staying at the studio with his partner on Blackburn Court in Pontefract on January 5 last year when there was a knock at around 6.20am.

The victim could see three men at the window, and he tried to call the police but his phone was dead.

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Halkyard (left) and Owen were jailed this week.

The men then walked through the front door which had been left unlocked.

The victim, who recognized Owen, Halkyard and a third man, managed to push them back through the door, but one of them hit him on the feet with a hammer and started shouting “where is the money?”

Halkyard then managed to rip the watch from the victim’s wrist and they continued to hit him with the hammer as he lay on the ground.

The victim managed to flee pursued by the third man, who is still wanted by the police, but the victim managed to flag down a passing car and flee.

The three men left by taxi a few minutes later, taking with them the watch, the telephones and the bank card. The total value of the property taken was £7,040.

The court was told that the victim advertised the sale of the expensive Rolex on Facebook and was supposed to sell it later that day.

He had cuts and bruises to his head and toes bruised from the hammer attack.

Police later found the 9-inch knife and a hammer discarded a few yards from the property.

After nearby CCTV showed the three men at the property, Owen and Halkyard were arrested.

Owen made no comment during the interview and then denied being in the footage, while Halkyard denied any involvement.

Owen, 44, of Smawthorne Avenue, Castleford, has 26 previous convictions, including GBH and burglary. He admitted the theft and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a hammer.

Halkyard, 20, from Tarn Close, Castleford, has 27 convictions, including several burglaries. He admitted the theft and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

At a recent hearing at Leeds Crown Court, Sean Smith, mitigating for Owen, said: “It was not a professional or well-planned activity.

“The reality is it was conceived on that day. The complaint is known to them, it’s not against any random member of the public.”

Mitigating for Halkyard, Ben Thomas told the court that his client was “more of a follower than a leader”, and has a very low IQ, giving him the mental age of a 12-year-old.

He said he lost his mother weeks before this incident and a friend a month before, which is why he got involved in Class A drugs.

Mr Thomas added: “It was money and drugs they were after rather than a targeted robbery for expensive goods. There is not a high degree of planning.

“He expressed remorse. The time he spent in detention allowed him to reflect on the impact of what he did.”

The case returned to Bradford Crown Court on Monday for sentencing, where Halkyard was sentenced to six years in prison and Owen to seven years and six months.

Floyd N. Morlan