Yob in court for stealing fake Rolex watch during Widnes robbery

A YOB who laid eyes on a stranger’s “precious” bag only succeeded in stealing his fake Rolex watch.

Luke Welsh committed the robbery while armed with a metal bar after first asking the victim if he had any weed.

The 19-year-old, who was just 18 when the offense happened, was arrested after being identified on CCTV and left DNA on the vehicle he got out of.

He appeared to be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to a robbery charge.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, explained how the theft happened around 3.40pm on December 10, 2020.

The victim was with three other men walking on Lilac Avenue in Widnes when they were passed by a blue Mazda car.

He thought he had forgotten something and looked for it in the “precious” bag he was carrying, but as he did so the car pulled up next to him and one of the four men in the interior asked him if he had any “weed”.

The victim said no and the car drove off, but it stopped about 10 meters down the road and reversed.

Two of the four men inside, one of whom was the accused, came out armed with metal bars, believed to be wheel spacers, and demanded that the victim hand over his bag.

He refused and told them there was nothing of value before trying to run away. There was a short chase that ended outside the gate of a neighboring property.

The couple again asked for the bag, which was again refused by the victim, but they noticed his apparent branded watch and made him hand it over. The watch was actually a “fake Rolex”.

The duo fled when someone inside the house came out to see what was going on.

Luke Welsh was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court

The Mazda was caught on CCTV and the apparent owner identified, but it turned out they had sold the car in the Showcase Cinema parking lot.

Further CCTV footage was obtained, from which police were able to identify the perpetrators of the theft. The defendant’s DNA was also found on the car door and on the metal bar.

The other man involved in the robbery was sentenced to 21 months in a young offender facility suspended for two years, as well as a curfew and mandatory days of rehab activity

Louise Santamera, defending, said Welsh, who has no previous convictions, “accepts full responsibility for his actions that day.”

She added that he became a father last month and works in warehouses but is expected to start a new job as a full-time floor worker.

Before sentencing, Judge David Swinnerton said: “It was a relatively serious offence, a robbery with a weapon.

“The breach happened in December 2020, and I’m glad to hear you stayed out of trouble.

“The fact that you have stayed out of trouble before and since allows me to suspend what will inevitably be a custodial sentence.”

He added: “You have a realistic prospect of rehabilitation and you have shown that you can stay out of trouble.

“You have worked and are ready to work hard and earn a living legitimately. You are now a father, and you have to grow up fast to be a decent father.

Welsh, of Rusholm Close in Halewood, received a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He must also complete 20 days of compulsory rehabilitation activities and 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Floyd N. Morlan