Bearded thug who tried to rob brave Portsmouth man, 91, is jailed for firearms offences

A THUG who launched a ‘violent’ and ‘sustained attack’ against a 91-year-old pensioner and was caught brandishing a pistol is today waking up behind bars.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 29th January 2021, 11:55 am
Updated Friday, 29th January 2021, 9:44 pm

Bearded bully Matthew Smith, of Milton Road, Milton, was jailed for eight years following the attempted robbery last year – and for being caught with a knife and pistol in 2019.

The 23-year-old yob was apprehended by police after trying to smash his way into the home of the pensioner, in Orchard Road, Southsea, on September 27.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how the violent attacker cornered his 91-year-old victim, demanding money from him – before then assaulting the terrified pensioner and fleeing empty handed.

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Matthew Smith, of Milton Road, Milton, has been jailed for eight years for knife and firearms offences in 2019 and an attempted robbery in 2020. Photo: Hampshire Constabulary

His victim, now aged 92, has since been nominated for a bravery award after fending off the 23-year-old thug.

Smith pleaded guilty to one count of robbery during a hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court in November 2020.

He has also been issued with a restraining order, valid for 10 years, which prohibits contact with the victim and excludes Smith from attending certain roads near the victim’s address.

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The judge praised the victim as having shown ‘considerable courage’ in what he described as a ‘persistent and sustained assault’ and requested a reward from the High Sheriff for his bravery.

Officer in charge of the case, PC Kirsty Watts of Hampshire Constabulary’s Operation Hawk Eastern team, said: ‘This was a violent crime against a 91-year-old man that could have had much more serious consequences.

‘This sentence sends a clear message that Smith’s behaviour was completely unacceptable and that we will thoroughly investigate and seek prosecution for these kinds of distressing and violent crimes.

‘I hope that today’s sentence provides some closure to the victim on this traumatic experience.’

Smith was also sentenced for possession of a firearm without a certificate and possession of a knife blade/sharp pointed article in a public place.

It came following an incident on September 16, 2019, when Smith was spotted with the weapons by the member of the public after leaving Fratton railway station.

Armed police apprehended him at the scene and seized a pistol and knife. Nobody was injured during the incident.

Smith pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm without a certificate and one count of possession of a knife blade/sharp pointed article in a public place at Portsmouth Crown Court in October 2019.

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