Laughing robbers armed with screwdriver storm man’s home and break his ribs after finding out he had won £500

Ashley Smith was jailed for 8 years for robbery. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Ashley Smith was jailed for 8 years for robbery. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Armed attackers beat up and robbed a man in his Norwich home a few weeks after he won £500 on the horses, a court heard.

Norwich Crown Court heard the two men knew about the 47-year-old victim's win and stormed his West Pottergate flat to try to get their hands on it.

Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said the man was woken by banging at the door of his flat before Ashley Smith 28, and another man burst in and attacked him, stealing his wallet and bank card.

He said they demanded: "Where is the money?"

He said: "The victim believed the demand was as a result of a win he had on the horses for £500 a few weeks before."

He told them he had no cash and tried to fight them off but the man with Smith produced a screwdriver and the victim was kicked and punched as well as injured with the screwdriver.

Mr Haswell said the men then fled the scene, taking his wallet and bank card. He said the men were laughing as they left.

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He said the victim suffered a number of injuries including three broken ribs and had to spend four days in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Mr Haswell said that the victim recognised Smith, who was in breach of a restraining order not to contact him, but said the other man involved was still at large.

In an impact statement, the victim said the incident had left him feeling anxious and unable to sleep.

Smith, of Aylsham Road, Norwich, admitted robbery on December 2 last year.

Dominic Benthall, for Smith, said that he had been drinking heavily before he carried out the offence. He said: "He deeply regrets what happened."

He said that he made no attempt to disguise himself, even though he knew he would be recognised by the victim.

He said his plea was on the basis that he did not know the other man was armed with a screwdriver and had not used the item as a weapon himself.

He also had handed in a letter to the judge from Smith in which he expressed his remorse.

Jailing him for eight years, Judge Anthony Bate told Smith that in drink there was another side to his character.

He said that an aggravating feature was that he had breached the court order not to contact the victim and said: "It was a robbery within his own flat."