Ashley Cole has said he will always be haunted by his children’s terror during an armed raid on his home.
The former England footballer was tied up by a masked gang who threatened to cut off his fingers in the 2020 burglary.
In a victim impact statement read in court today Cole, 41, said: “The terror and confusion on my children’s faces is something that will never leave me. These images and thoughts will never leave my mind.”
The former Chelsea and Arsenal left-back, now a coach with Frank Lampard at Everton, was targeted by a gang who stormed his house in Fetcham, Surrey, as he watched television with his partner Sharon Canu.
He told police he feared he would be “set alight or murdered” in front of his children, now aged four and six. He was bound with cable ties and forced to his knees in only his boxer shorts as a raider screamed: “Let me cut his fingers.”
In his statement, he said he still cannot go out to the bin without his torch and guard dog despite investing in security that has made his home “like a fortress”. Ms Canu said the “extremely terrifying” raid had a huge impact on her life.
She was at Nottingham crown court as one of the raiders was jailed today.
Delivery driver Kurtis Dilks got 30 years with an extended licence period of five years. He was convicted after his DNA was found on the cable ties used on Cole.
He was also convicted over a raid at the home of ex-Spurs star Tom Huddlestone, 35, in Nottinghamshire eight months earlier. Huddlestone’s wife Joanna Dixon feared she would be “killed or raped” after masked thugs broke in.
She was restrained with cable ties and forced to reveal where valuables were.
Two other men were also convicted of conspiring to rob Ms Dixon – Ashley Cumberpatch, 35, and Andrew McDonald, 40. The trio, all from Nottingham, were also convicted of stealing the £3.5million Portland Tiara from a gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire in 2018.
Cumberpatch, 37, was jailed for 24 years with a five-year extended licence.
MacDonald, 42, got 27 years with a five-year extended licence.