A machete-welding 16-year-old threatened to cut off singer Aled Jones’s arm as he robbed the star of his £17,000 Rolex watch in daylight, a court has been told. The 52-year-old Welsh baritone from Bangor was walking along Chiswick High Road in west London at about 5.40pm on July 7 when the teenaged boy, who cannot be legally identified, attacked him.
The teenager was due to stand trial at Wimbledon Youth Court on Thursday but pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon after turning up late – with his trial already underway.
Prosecutor Robert Simpson had earlier told the court: “The complainant, who is Aled Jones, was walking with his son when he was approached by a youth dressed in a black tracksuit top and bottoms and wearing black trainers.
“(The defendant) produced a knife in the form of a machete from his tracksuit bottoms and threatened to cut off his arm and made various other threats in order to obtain the Rolex watch Aled Jones was wearing.
“Aled Jones immediately handed it over and the defendant made off.” CCTV was collected from the area and the teenager was arrested at his west London home.
At the time of his arrest, the boy was wearing a black Nike tracksuit and his trainers were ones he was wearing in the footage. The machete was found in his room, the court heard.
The defendant was picked out by the singer’s son in an identity parade, the hearing was also told. Mr Jones, 52, and his son waited on a video link for almost two hours to give evidence before it was turned on for about a minute – with the star nodding and thanking court staff as he was told the teenager had pleaded guilty.
The boy, who wore a dark green tracksuit and trainers and appeared alongside his father, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address and to reply “guilty” when each charge was read out. District Judge Andrew Sweet told him the offending was “very, very serious” and adjourned the case for reports to be prepared.
He was bailed but must live and sleep where directed to by the local authority. The case will next be heard at Ealing Youth Court on September 12 but the judge told the defendant he could not guarantee the case will not be sent to the crown court from there.