By Josh Payne, PA
A “dominant and dangerous” robber has been convicted of being part of a four-strong gang who smashed into the home of former England footballer Ashley Cole and threatened to cut his fingers off.
Ex-Arsenal, Chelsea and Derby defender Cole 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 in England 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.