A van-hire worker is seen being strangled unconscious by two men, who stole his £15,000 gold Rolex watch IBTimes UK

Two robbers who choked a man unconscious to steal his £15,000 gold Rolex watch have been jailed for a total of more than 10 years. Shocking CCTV footage captured the moment that the men stormed into a van-hire shop in Greenwich at about 1.40pm on 10 February 2016.

The victim, Roy James, 46, was seen trying to fight off the criminals as one robber put his arm around his throat and began to choke him. While they dragged him to the floor, the other man took the watch from his wrist. Both men made off leaving James lying unconscious and shaking on the floor. The victim suffered no permanent injury as a result of the attack, but police say he was left highly distressed.

Neil Blackwell, 27, of London Road in Greenhithe, Kent, and Kevin Ripley, 32 of no fixed abode, had each pleaded guilty to charges of robbery on Monday (21 March) at Woolwich Crown Court. Blackwell was jailed for five years and eight months, and Ripley was jailed for four years and six months.

The Met Police said it was a direct result of the CCTV footage and media appeal that officers were able to arrest the suspects last month.

Detective Constable Andrew Payne of Greenwich CID said: "I must firstly thank all those who supported our appeal. Both these men were quickly arrested as a direct result of the public and media; it was with your help that two dangerous criminals were arrested.

"As for Ripley and Blackwell, the violence and viciousness of this robbery is apparent to anyone who watches the CCTV. These two men were reckless in their use of force, and it was mere good fortune that the victim was not seriously injured. I am sure the public will be relieved to see them brought to justice."

rolex robbery
Neil Blackwell, 27, and Kevin Ripley, 32, were jailed for a total of more than 10 years