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A “dominant and dangerous” robber has been convicted of being part of a four-strong gang who smashed into the home of Ashley Cole and threatened to cut his fingers off.
The former Arsenal and Chelsea left back told police he “knew now I am going to die” as he recalled how the masked raiders tied his hands behind his back despite him holding his young daughter in January 2020.
Nottingham Crown Court heard how Kurtis Dilks was the only one of the gang responsible for the robbery to be caught after his DNA was recovered on the cable ties used to restrain Cole and his partner Sharon Canu.
The 35-year-old courier claimed his DNA was found on the cable ties and a knife recovered from the scene in Fetcham, Surrey, because they were items previously stolen from his van.
Dilks was convicted alongside five others for their roles in a string of “ruthlessly executed” robberies and burglaries between October 2018 and January 2020.
As well as the attack on Cole, Dilks was found guilty of conspiring to rob the wife of former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tom Huddlestone in May 2019 with fellow defendants Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew Macdonald.
Cole said told police had just got back from work with Chelsea’s under-15s before hearing a “banging sound”.
In footage played to the court: “As soon as I put Netflix on, literally 10 to 15 seconds after that, I heard like a banging sound.
“I could her it was like outside of my bedroom, just to the left, coming through the window.
“The banging was vibrating up the walls into my bedroom.
“I literally looked at Sharon… and I said ‘what’s that?’
“She said ‘I don’t know but that’s not a normal noise’.
“I got off the bed and said to her ‘this is why I should keep a weapon, like a golf club, in my bedroom’.”
He continued: “Now I see a minimum of four running from a bush which is probably 15 yards away or so.
“They half-shouted ‘agh’ and charged towards my bottom windows.
“I knew now, I am going to die.
“I have got my kids in the house and I have no-one to help.”