Ashley Cole ‘bound with cable ties’ as thieves threatened to ‘cut off her fingers’ in ‘ruthless’ £500,000 raid

FORMER footballer Ashley Cole and his partner Sharon Canu were subjected to a terrifying ordeal at knifepoint when a gang raided their home and threatened to ‘cut their fingers’.

Kurtis Dilks, 34, allegedly robbed the former England defender Mr Cole40 years old, and his partner Sharon Canu watches, cell phones, cash, a Gucci bag, headphones and a BMW smart key during a break-in at their home in Fetcham, Surrey, in January 2020.

Former England star Ashley Cole and her partner Sharon Canu were burglarized at their home in January 2020

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Former England star Ashley Cole and her partner Sharon Canu were burglarized at their home in January 2020Credit: Instagram
Tom Huddlestone was playing a game for Derby County when he was robbed

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Tom Huddlestone was playing a game for Derby County when he was robbed1 credit
Ashley Cole and Sharon Canu had their watches, cellphones, cash, Gucci bag, headphones and BMW smart key stolen

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Ashley Cole and Sharon Canu had their watches, cellphones, cash, Gucci bag, headphones and BMW smart key stolenCredit: BackGrid
Kurtis Dilks is also accused of being part of a six-person gang who allegedly stole the £3.75million Portland Tiara from the Welbeck estate in 2018.

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Kurtis Dilks is also accused of being part of a six-person gang who allegedly stole the £3.75million Portland Tiara from the Welbeck estate in 2018.Credit: PA: Press Association

Cole had his hands tied behind his back by the gang wearing camouflage clothing and demanded jewelry and watches – with one attacker wielding pliers suggesting: “Let’s cut his fingers off”.

Cole’s hands were also ‘oddly’ sprayed with Febreze odor eliminator in an apparent attempt to destroy DNA evidence, before the group of six men fled the house when police arrived.

Sharon Canu, Cole’s girlfriend, had managed to dial 999 when the couple realized they had been burglarized while watching a movie together around 9.30pm on January 21, 2020.

But until officers arrived, prosecutors detailed how the couple and their children – Grace and Jaxon – endured a “violent and ruthlessly executed” ordeal that saw Cole, wearing only shorts, tied up with straps. cable ties and forced to kneel in front of his family.

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Dilks, Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald are also accused of conspiring to rob Tom Huddlestone’s wife, Joanna Dixon, of £500,000 worth of jewelery and handbags, including her wedding bands and engagement rings in May 2019.

Jurors were told thieves tied Ms Dixon’s hands behind her back at her home in Caythorpe, Notts, with cable ties, with one saying: ‘Don’t make it difficult, we don’t want not bully you.”

Nottingham Crown Court heard Dilks was also accused of being part of a six-person gang who allegedly stole the £3.75million Portland Tiara from the Welbeck Estate in 2018.

The tiara was worn at the coronation of Edward VII.

Prosecutors said the theft of the tiara, previously described as a “national treasure”, was a “shocking event” and it will never be seen in its original condition again.

Opening the case against 11 defendants on Monday, prosecutor Michael Brady QC told jurors the home of former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mr Huddlestone was targeted in a ‘well-planned operation’ while he was playing a game for Derby County.

Cole and Huddlestone played together at Derby in 2019.

Mr Brady said: “These defendants were more or less involved in a series of extremely serious, highly publicized, carefully planned and at times ruthlessly executed series of burglaries and violent robberies.

“Dilks continued this pattern when he was implicated in the robberies of footballer Ashley Cole and her partner Sharon Canu in January 2020.

“The presence of the heads of household did not deter these defendants.

“They were armed with weapons and the means to control them.

“The presence of children did not bother them.”

Mr Brady told jurors the property stolen in the break-ins and robberies had been handed over to professional handlers Tevfik Guccuk and Sercan Evsin, who were responsible for selling the items.

The Crown QC said: “Those responsible for this part of what was a very sophisticated criminal offence, Evsin and Guccuk, operated an ostensibly legitimate jewelery business in Hatton Garden.

“The value and visibility of some of the stolen items was such that it was not possible to sell them in the UK.

“VERY SOPHISTICATED CRIMINAL OFFENSES”

“The conclusion to be drawn from the evidence is that sometimes the assets had to be disposed of overseas.”

Addressing the theft of the tiara, Mr Brady said: “Two diamond-encrusted jewels were stolen in the burglary, the Portland tiara and an associated brooch, with a combined value of around £3,750,000.

“The tiara and brooch were part of the Portland Collection. It is difficult to overstate the significance and cultural value of these jewels.

“Other works of art in the same collection included masterpieces by Michelangelo, van Dyck, Stubbs and a pearl earring worn by Charles I during his execution.

“These were trophies from the gallery exhibition – extremely valuable, unique and of significant historical significance.

“They have been put on display for public enjoyment. Their theft is a shocking event and means they will never be seen again in their original condition.

“It stands to reason that burglaries of this nature require detailed and careful planning, including consideration of how to dispose of these unique pieces, an exercise which, in order to reduce the risk of detection for those who commit the burglary , is frequently undertaken as soon as possible after the theft of the asset.

‘CAREFUL PLANNING’

“As we will see, that is exactly what happened here.”

The 6th Duke of Portland commissioned Cartier to create the Portland Tiara for his wife, Winifred, Duchess of Portland.

She wore the diamond-encrusted helmet, the centerpiece of which is the Portland Diamond, at the coronation of King Edward, the Queen’s great-grandfather, in 1902.

Cumberpatch, his partner Kelly Duong, MacDonald, Dilks and fellow defendants Matthew Johnson and Adrian Eddishaw are all charged with conspiracy to rob in connection with the theft of the tiara.

Mr Brady continued: “Each wore an outfit designed to prevent identification and eliminate the risk of leaving scientific evidence at the scene: motorcycle helmets, coveralls, coveralls and gloves.

“Each carried a hand or power tool, used to gain access to the gallery, the safe and the display case.

“Their only target was undoubtedly the Portland tiara and brooch. The three burglars immediately headed their way. They weren’t interested in anything else.

“By all accounts, this was a professionally executed and well-planned infraction.

The defendants deny all charges.

The trial, which is expected to last up to 12 weeks, is continuing.

Diamond expert Tobias Kormind, managing director of Europe’s largest online diamond jeweler 77 Diamondstold The Sun Online: “The diamonds in the Portland Tiara are believed to date back to between the 17th and 19th centuries and they are cut in the old fashioned way, giving off much less sparkle than modern diamonds.

“They are known as ‘old-cut’ or ‘European-cut’ diamonds.

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“It was not until 1919 that the modern round brilliant cut of diamonds was invented by Marcel Tolkowsky with more facets and more sophisticated methods of cutting diamonds, which added enormously to the sparkle.

“It’s very sad because the history of this dazzling Cartier tiara with all its royal heritage has been lost.”

Jurors were told that professional handlers Tevfik Guccuk and Sercan Evsin were responsible for selling the items

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Jurors were told that professional handlers Tevfik Guccuk and Sercan Evsin were responsible for selling the items
Kelly Duong is charged with conspiracy to rob in connection with the theft of the tiara

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Kelly Duong is charged with conspiracy to rob in connection with the theft of the tiara
Ashley Cole had a successful career with Chelsea and England

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Ashley Cole had a successful career with Chelsea and EnglandCredit: Getty
Tom Huddlestone was reportedly targeted in a

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Tom Huddlestone reportedly targeted in ‘well-planned operation’Credit: Getty

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