Watch: Footage of serial thief attempting to rob ex-Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll of his £22,000 watch

A serial thief who attempted to rob Premier League striker Andy Carroll of his £22,000 wristwatch in a drive-by heist has been jailed for 11 years.

Motorbike-riding Jack O'Brien, 22, swooped on the England player's Jeep Wrangler near Hainault, north-east London, as he was driving home from West Ham's training ground last year.

Jack O'Brien, left, has been jailed after attempting to rob former Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll, right.

Jack O'Brien, left, has been jailed after attempting to rob former Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll, right.

He was found guilty of attempted robbery following a trial at Basildon Crown Court.

In a victim impact statement Carroll, who believed the defendant had a gun, said he "feared for his life" and now travels to and from training with security guards.

O'Brien, of Navarre Gardens, Romford, east London, was given a sentence of 11 years and three months for the attempted robbery on November 2 and a previous "campaign of burglaries".

Judge John Lodge told him: "I have no doubt at all in saying that by reason of the planning of that sophisticated offence, the length of time that you pursued that vehicle, and that you were again using your motorcycle equipment as a disguise, you are at the very top of the bracket of culpability."

Camera footage of O'Brien during the botched raid.

Camera footage of O'Brien during the botched raid.

The defendant was found hiding below a mattress at a property in Dagenham, east London, when police went to arrest him 10 days after the botched robbery.

The 6ft 4in Gateshead-born striker told the court he had been "scared" when the motorcycle driver approached his camouflage green vehicle and said: "Nice watch."

He had initially thought the rider, who was wearing a crash helmet with a visor up, was boxer Kevin Mitchell pulling up for a chat.

But as he went to drive off, the man said: "Give me your watch."

Carroll told the court he then did a U-turn before he was pursued by two motorbike drivers.

In a panicked 999 call played to the jury, Carroll told emergency responders: "There's two motorbikes, one's behind me pulling out a gun, I don't know what to do."

He added that he had "probably just hit about 10 cars" during his getaway.

No firearm was found by police and the second driver has not been located

A motorcycle helmet, Ducati jacket and a Suzuki motorbike were all seized, which police believed O'Brien used in the attempt on Mr Carroll.

DNA matching the defendant's was found on the helmet and jacket.