Ashley Cole thought he was going to die during home raid, court told. Masked raiders smashed into home of ex-England footballer and threatened to cut off his fingers, court hears. The former England footballer told police he thought he was “going to die” as masked raiders smashed into his home and threatened to cut off his fingers with pliers, a court has heard.

Nottingham crown court was shown footage of a group of men breaking into Cole’s Surrey home in January 2020, shortly after he had settled down to watch Netflix with his partner, Sharon Canu. Kurtis Dilks, 34, is charged with being part of the gang that allegedly smashed into the house with a sledgehammer and tied Cole’s hands behind his back in front of his children.

Cole used his phone to look at footage from the security cameras and could see the intruders carrying a ladder towards the balcony. He said he stepped on to the balcony and swore at them and shouted for help. He then saw a minimum of four people running from a bush and charging towards his ground-floor windows.
He said all he thought was that he was going to die. He added that he had his kids in thr house and didn't have anyone to help him. Cole continued by saying that he actually tried to shout on the balcony as loud as he could trying to let people know what was going on in his house at the time. He told the oomice that he went to his daughter while Canu, his partner, went to get their son.
Dilks,one of the suspects, is accused of three charges of conspiracy to commit burglary, four charges of converting criminal property, three charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts of robbery.
Nine other men are also on trial for their alleged part in the series of “ruthlessly executed” burglaries, including the theft of a £3.5m tiara. The trial continues.