A “frighteningly reckless” robber who was part of a gang who tied up former England footballer Ashley Cole in front of his children and threatened to cut off his fingers has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Kurtis Dilks, 35, has had his license extended by five by a judge at Nottingham Crown Court who said the former Chelsea and Arsenal defender and his partner Sharon Canu have suffered from psychological effects that “cannot be overstated”. years sentenced.
The judge said the attack on the footballer’s Surrey home was “extremely appalling” and he described the gang as “intelligent, violent and appallingly ruthless men”.
Dilk’s trial heard Cole had told police he thought “now I’m going to die” as he recalled how the masked robbers had his hands tied behind his back even as he was holding his infant daughter.
Dilks was the only one in the gang responsible for the robbery, who was caught after his DNA was found on the zip ties used to hold Cole and Ms. Canu.
He was convicted along with five others for their role in a series of robberies and burglaries that prosecutors say were “ruthlessly carried out” between October 2018 and January 2020.
In a statement read before the court, Cole said the “terror and confusion” on his children’s faces when the gang invaded his home “will never leave him.”
Read by a prosecutor, the former full-back said in his statement: “The image of that night remains and shapes everything.”
He added, “These images and thoughts will never leave me and can pop up at any time.”
He said he’s invested heavily in the security of his home in Fetcham, Surrey, which now “feels like a fortress”.
But he said he still couldn’t go to the trash can without a torch and watchdog.
Ms Canu was in court on Friday to hear her statement also read by Prosecutor Michael Brady QC.
She said the raid had a “major impact” on her life and recalled trying to hide in a closet with her son as her husband was tied up and asking for comfort from her daughter.
She said: “This will never leave me”.
Ms. Canu says she still doesn’t feel safe despite the dogs, panic alarms and fencing that have been installed on the property.
She said the family is considering moving, but “the truth is that no matter where the house is, the feelings and the fear would be there.”
As well as attacking Cole, Dilks was found guilty of conspiring with co-defendants Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald to rob the wife of former Tottenham, Hull and Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone in May 2019.
The trio have also been convicted of stealing a £3.5million tiara worn to Edward VII’s coronation in 2018 from the Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
Cole was not in court on Friday.
Dilks, wearing an orange and black patterned shirt and mask, sat with five other defendants in the glass-fronted dock and stared ahead while listening to impact statements.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/ashley-cole-surrey-dna-arsenal-nottingham-crown-court-b2124164.html Ashley Cole: Robber sentenced to 30 years in prison for ‘horrific’ raid on former England footballer’s home