A member of the “chillingly brutal” robbery gang who broke into Ashley Cole’s home and threatened to cut off his fingers has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Kurtis Dilks, 35, was given a term at Nottingham Crown Court for his involvement in the “very horrific” raid in January 2020 that made the former defender for Arsenal, Chelsea, and Derby fear for his life.
The jury was told that when the masked invaders tied Cole’s hands behind his back as he was carrying his little daughter, he told police he thought, “Now I am going to die.”
After his DNA was found on the cable ties used to restrain Cole and his Sharon Canu, Dilks was the only member of the four-person group to be apprehended.
Together with five other people, he was found guilty of participating in a series of thefts and burglaries that the prosecution described as being “ruthlessly performed” between October 2018 and January 2020.
The “horror and confusion” on his children’s faces as the group broke into his home, Cole said in an impact statement earlier delivered to the court, “will never leave” him.
The former full-back was quoted by a prosecutor as saying: “The memory of that night endures and affects everything.”
Along with the assault on Cole, Dilks and co-defendants Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald were also found guilty of plotting to rob the wife of former Tottenham, Hull, and Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone in May 2019.
Additionally, the trio was found guilty of participating in the theft of an Edward VII coronation tiara valued at £3.5 million from the Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in 2018.
The gang of “clever, brutal, and chillingly vicious guys” claimed all of their victims, and Judge James Sampson lauded their “courage and resilience.”
The psychological toll on Mr. Cole and Ms. Canu, as well as on all of your victims, he told Dilks, “cannot be overstated.”