A “dominant and unsafe” robber has been convicted of being section of a four-powerful gang who smashed into the household of previous England footballer Ashley Cole and threatened to minimize his fingers off.
Ex-Arsenal, Chelsea and Derby defender Cole instructed law enforcement he thought “now I am likely to die” as he recalled how the masked raiders tied his fingers at the rear of his again irrespective of him holding his youthful daughter in January 2020.
Nottingham Crown Courtroom listened to that Kurtis Dilks was the only 1 of the gang dependable for the robbery to be caught soon after his DNA was recovered on the cable ties utilized to restrain Cole and his partner, Sharon Canu.
The 35-calendar year-previous courier claimed his DNA was observed on the cable ties and a knife recovered from the scene in Fetcham, Surrey, due to the fact they ended up products earlier stolen from his van.
Dilks was convicted alongside five others for their roles in a string of “ruthlessly executed” robberies and burglaries concerning Oct 2018 and January 2020.
As well as the attack on Cole, Dilks was located guilty of conspiring to rob the wife of previous Tottenham, Hull and Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone in May well 2019 with fellow defendants Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald.
The trio were also convicted of staying component of the theft of a #3.5million tiara worn to the coronation of Edward VII from the Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in 2018.
Dilks confirmed no emotion as jurors declared their verdicts on Friday.
The 10-7 days trial was proven CCTV footage from Cole’s house which showed the ex-footballer, sporting just his boxer shorts, getting led up and down the stairs by the robbers.
Watches, cell telephones, money, a Gucci bag, headphones and a BMW sensible important have been all stolen for the duration of the break-in, the courtroom was informed.
Just after the robbery, Cole told law enforcement: “I was on my knees, waiting to possibly be killed… I will in no way see my young ones once again.”
It is recognized the investigation into the theft is continuing and law enforcement are continue to trying to find the other three people today involved.
Jurors heard that Cole had been doing the job as Chelsea youth coach at the time of the assault, and had just settled down to check out a film on Netflix when he heard a noise “vibrating up the walls”.
Opening the case from Dilks at the begin of the trial, prosecutor Michael Brady QC claimed Cole informed his partner to get in touch with the law enforcement, which she did following hiding in a wardrobe.
He told the jury: “The next matter Ms Canu knew was when one of the robbers opened the wardrobe doorway and took the telephone from her when she was talking to the police.
“Ms Canu adopted the intruder and was directed wordlessly by the male who experienced taken her telephone to the bed room the place Mr Cole was. She then saw Mr Cole on his knees with his arms tied at the rear of his back again.”
Mr Brady said Ms Canu grew to become progressively concerned right after recognizing a “enormous” sledgehammer which the robbers had utilized to smash the bifold doorways downstairs in purchase to achieve entry to the dwelling.
The prosecutor explained to the court docket that, following Cole had insisted he did not have any jewellery or watches, a person of the thieves “grabbed the again of his neck and squeezed it”.
Mr Brady reported Ms Canu was then threatened with a knife.
“Ms Canu somewhat bravely to begin with refused to have her arms bound,” he said. “That bravery understandably evaporated to a specified extent when she was threatened with a knife. The person reported ‘Do you want that?’ – which means the knife.”
Mr Brady ongoing: “By this phase Mr Cole’s fingers were also sure behind his back again with very similar cable ties. Mr Cole was then picked up by his arms. He noticed how distressed his loved ones was.
“Mr Cole talked about that just one of the attackers, a stocky, extra aggressive gentleman who spoke with an Irish accent, held expressing ‘Let’s cut his fingers’.
“At the time he was armed with a pair of pliers.
“Inspite of the attempts of the stocky robber to attack him with pliers, the robber who Mr Cole described as the ‘boss man’ – the one particular who had to start with approached him in his bedroom and grabbed his neck – prevented the attack from likely in advance.”
The court docket listened to that the robbers fled right after one shouted “Law enforcement”.
Dilks, of Whitegate Vale, Clifton, Nottingham, will be sentenced at the identical court on July 15.