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Chelsea legend Ashley Cole threatened with having fingers cut off in violent robbery, court told

08:24 WAT 12/04/2022
Ashley Cole 2022
The trial heard the former Arsenal and England defender and his family were targeted by robbers two years ago

Ashley Cole was threatened with having his fingers cut off with pliers in a violent robbery at his home in January 2020, a court has heard.

The court was told that current Everton first-team coach Cole, who is also a former Arsenal and Chelsea defender who won over 100 caps for England during his playing career, was bound by cable ties and led around his house in only a pair of shorts alongside his partner, Sharon Canu, during the harrowing ordeal.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that the couple's two young children were also in the house at the time as four men broke in to steal jewellery and mobile phones along with the key to a BMW.

What has been said?

Prosecutor Michael Brady QC described the details of the break-in to the court after revealing that Ms Canu had hidden in a wardrobe with her son to phone the police.

"The next thing Ms Canu knew was when one of the robbers opened the wardrobe door and took the phone from her while she was talking to the police," Mr Brady said. "She then saw Mr Cole on his knees with his hands tied behind his back."

The court was told that one of the men then threatened to torture Mr Cole with a pair of pliers, saying: "Let's cut his fingers."

Mr Brady said the robbers fled the premises when the police arrived and managed to get away with property including five designer watches.

Tom Huddlestone also targeted

Former Tottenham and England midfielder Tom Huddlestone was also targeted by the same gang of robbers in May 2019.

The 35-year-old, who now plays for Hull City, wasn't present when three of the defendents - Ashley Cumberpatch, Andrew MacDonald and Kurtis Dilks - were said to have broken into his residence in Lincolnshire.

Huddlestone's wife Joanna Dixon was in bed with the couple's infant son at the time, but was told to put him down as the intruders tried to restrain her with cable ties, and they eventually got away with around £500,000 worth of handbags and jewellery.

Dilks, 34, was allegedly involved in both of the robberies and is also being accused of being part of the six-man gang that stole a £3.5 million Portland Tiara from the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire in 2018.

The trial continues.