Former Blackburn Rovers footballer turned criminal admits robbery charge - but won’t serve any longer in prison

Andre Clarke.
Andre Clarke.

A former professional footballer who was jailed for 15 years last month has appeared back in court to admit a robbery offence... but he won’t serve any longer in prison.

Andre Clarke, who had played for four league clubs during his career, was locked up at Leeds Crown Court seven weeks ago after he and an accomplice were found guilty by a jury of kidnapping and attacking a Batley man who was forced to dance naked to Whitney Houston songs.

READ MORE: Two men sentenced to total of 30 years for ‘kidnapping and torturing’ victim over drugs debt

Today (Nov 27) a crown court judge heard how back in November 2016 Clarke, of Wood Lane, Newsome, Huddersfield, and another accomplice tricked their way into a family home in Bradford by pretending to deliver a parcel.

Prosecutor Ashleigh Metcalfe described how Clarke, who was wearing a balaclava and dark clothing, searched a room at the house while his accomplice stood guard over the householder.

Although no weapons were produced the man was told he would be hit if he didn’t do as he was told.

READ MORE: Jail for men who forced kidnap victim to strip naked and perform Whitney Houston songs

The intruders eventually left with the keys to a VW Golf which was driven off and Clarke was later arrested behind the wheel of a BMW used in the robbery.

Miss Metcalfe confirmed that the stolen VW Golf was later recovered and returned to its owner.

Clarke had been due to stand trial for the offence, but entered his guilty plea before a jury was sworn in.

Barrister Roy Headlam, for 30-year-old Clarke, said his client wanted to apologise to the complainant in the robbery.

He said the 15-year prison sentence his client received last month had caused him to seriously reflect on his behaviour and lifestyle.

Mr Headlam told Recorder Benjamin Nolan QC, sitting at Bradford Crown Court, that Clarke’s earliest release date was November 2025.

The judge sentenced Clarke to four-and-a-half years in jail for the robbery offence, but he said the sentence should be concurrent and run alongside the 15-year term he is already serving.

Leeds Crown Court heard last month how Clarke and his accomplice Sakhawat Hussain, 35, of Hawthorne Avenue, Batley, had beaten their victim and scalded him with boiling water during an ordeal in January this year which was said to have been sparked by a row over drugs.

After being bundled into a car the man was taken to a flat in the Batley Carr area of Dewsbury where he was forced to sing and dance to Whitney Houston songs for their amusement.

The pair were each jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of kidnapping, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, false imprisonment and affray.