WATCH: Hackney charity founder reportedly ‘targeted by muggers’ in Spain

Henry Smith. Picture: Phil Weedon

Henry Smith. Picture: Phil Weedon - Credit: Phil Weedon

The founder of a Hackney charity has reportedly been forced to fight off a mugger while on a working trip to Spain.

Businessman Henry Smith, founder of The Wickers Charity, has said he was attacked at a villa complex in Malaga on July 12.

He said two men on a motorcycle followed him home from a client lunch and targeted the 58-year-old in his car.

One of the muggers allegedly tried to wrench off Mr Smith’s Patek Phillippe watch, worth around £50,000.

READ MORE: Wickers charity founder Henry Smith raises over £66,000 in bid to climb Antarctica’s highest peakMr Smith said: “This guy in a helmet came out of nowhere, leaned into the car and tore off my watch. The strap broke but I managed to knock the watch into the foot-well so he couldn’t reach it.

“Then my colleague leaped out of the car and we started grappling with him. He was a big, well-built guy and I managed to tear off his helmet, but he ran off to his partner who was waiting on the bike with the engine running and they sped off.

“I know it was dangerous to resist but that watch was a very special one and I had worked hard for it and wasn’t prepared to give it up without resisting.”

The tail-end of the alleged incident was caught on CCTV, which shows Mr Smith and his business partner chasing two men on a motorcycle out of shot, towards Malaga town centre.

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Mr Smith said Spanish police are trying to collate all the CCTV and hopes “they will be caught soon”.

He launched The Wickers Charity in Hackney in 2018 to help reduce gun and knife crime in the borough, while he also runs London building firm Aitch Group.

During the coronavirus lockdown, the charity has been delivering food care packages to disadvantaged families with young children in Hackney every Thursday.

Mr Smith set up the charity after his brother-in-law was stabbed to death outside a takeaway restaurant in Stratford, East London.

It provides young people, aged eight to 18, the opportunity to develop new skills and learn from positive role models in classes, workshops and events.

This comes after Mr Smith raised £150,000 for The Wickers Charity by trekking for nine days and braving minus 40C temperatures up the highest peak in Antarctica, Vinson Massif, in 2018.

Find out more about the charity at police in Spain were contacted for comment.