Gang member who threatened to cut off Ashley Cole’s fingers in burglary jailed for 30 years | UK News

A man who broke into the home of former England footballer Ashley Cole with a hammer and threatened to cut off his fingers has been jailed for 30 years.

Kurtis Dilks, 35, was part of a four-person team that broke into his home wearing masks on January 21, 2020.

Dilks was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after the judge described the gang as “intelligent, violent and terribly ruthless men”.

The former England footballer told police he “knew” he was going to die as they tied his hands behind his back as he held his young daughter.

Cole told police: “I was on my knees, waiting to be killed…I will never see my children again. »

He said in a statement read to the court: “The terror and confusion in my children’s faces is something that will never leave me.

“These images and thoughts will never leave my mind and can arise at any time. »

The break-in happened after the former Chelsea player returned home after working with the club’s Under-15 team.

Ashley Cole says he was terrified of the burglary and is still nervous

He told police: “As soon as I turned on Netflix, literally 10-15 seconds after that, I heard like a popping noise.

“I could hear it was like outside my room, just to the left, through the window.

“The beatings made the walls of my room vibrate. I literally looked at Sharon…and I said, “What the hell is that? » »

He said he looked at his phone cameras to see if he could identify the intruders.

“I could see they were carrying a ladder to my balcony,” Cole said.

Sharon Canu, Cole’s partner, said she tried to hide in a closet with her son while her husband was tied up and her daughter asked for comfort.

She said in her personal statement that the ordeal “will never leave me” and that she does not feel safe.

Cole said he’s invested heavily in his home’s security to the point that it “looks like a fortress”, but he still can’t go through the trash without a torch and his watchdog.

Judge James Sampson praised the couple’s “courage and resilience” as well as all the other victims of the gang.

He told Dilks: “The psychological impact on Mr Cole and Ms Canu, as on all your victims, cannot be overstated. »

Dilks was the only one of the gang caught after his DNA was recovered from the cable ties used to restrain Cole and his partner.

He was convicted alongside five others for their roles in a series of “ruthlessly executed” robberies and burglaries between October 2018 and January 2020.

Dilks was also convicted of conspiring to rob the wife of former Tottenham, Hull and Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone in May 2019 along with fellow defendants Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald.

The three men were also found guilty of being involved in the theft of a £3.5million tiara from the Welbeck estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in 2018.

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