Cut his fingers off! Ashley Cole threatened by knife-wielding thieves while tied up

Ashley Cole revealed as new signing for Derby County

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Frightened footballer Ashley Cole, the former husband of ex-Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole, had his hands tied behind his back and was forced to his knees as the armed robbers goaded him with cries of “Let’s cut off his fingers!”, according to the court prosecutor. Kurtis Dilks, 34, and his gang are alleged to have stolen luxury items including smartphones, a Gucci bag, watches and a BMW smart-key, as well as cash.

Violent and ruthlessly executed

Prosecutor Michael Brady QC

The horrifying ordeal is said to have taken place at the home the former England defender shares with his partner Sharon Canu in Fetcham, Surrey.

The gang were alleged to have been wielding pliers when they made the threat to cut the sports star’s fingers back in 2020.

An evening that had begun with a “Netflix and chill” theme as the loved-up pair watched a movie together ended in what prosecutors described as a “violent and ruthlessly executed” ordeal.

Ashley and Sharon have two children, Grace and Jaxon, who allegedly witnessed the violent attack.

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Wearing just a pair of shorts, Ashley was said to have been bound with cable ties in front of his family.

Fortunately the pair had dialled 999, although by the time officers arrived, the group had apparently fled.

However Dilks, plus Ashley Cumberpatch and Andrew MacDonald are alleged to have also conspired to rob footballer Tom Huddlestone’s wife, Joanna Dixon, of £500,000 worth of jewellery and handbags the previous year.

The haul in May 2019 had also included her wedding and engagement rings.

During the attack, gang members allegedly ordered her not to “make this difficult”.

They are also accused of threatening that they did not want to be forced to “manhandle” her.

Ashley Cole and Tom Huddlestone had previously played football together the year before the criminals allegedly struck.

The same ring leader, Dilks, is claimed to have been involved in a plot which culminated in the theft of the £3.75 million Portland Tiara from the Welbeck estate back in 2018.


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The tiara has special significance to the Royal Family as it was historically worn by a duchess during Edward VII’s coronation.

Prosecutors accused the perpetrators of nabbing a “national treasure” and warned it will never be seen in its original state again.

The case against the accused kicked off today at Nottingham Crown Court against a total of 11 defendants.

Michael Brady QC suggested to the jury that the operation was cunningly planned, as the thieves were said to have struck when the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mr Huddlestone was known to be away from home, playing a match for Derby County.

He continued: “These defendants were to a greater or lesser extent involved in a series of extremely serious, high-profile, carefully planned and at times ruthlessly executed burglaries and violent robberies.

“The presence of householders did not deter these defendants.

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

“The presence of children did not perturb them [either].”

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