Ashley Cole’s model girlfriend screamed in a 999 call begging police to stop a home burglary – after she was found hiding in a wardrobe with her son by one of the crooks.
Jurors were played the chilling emergency services tape made as masked raiders broke into the couple’s Surrey mansion.
Sharon Canu made the desperate plea for help as she hid in a cupboard with her son after the gang forced their way in at around 9.20pm on January 21, 2020.
The Italian model could be heard begging for officers to come immediately, telling a female operator: ‘Please, please someone is coming in the house.’ The operator replies, ‘We will get some help to you, okay? They are in the house at the moment?’
Sharon responded, ‘Yes’, adding: ‘They are coming up the stairs’.
A terrified scream was then heard by jurors at Nottingham Crown Court as one of the raiders discovered her and Jaxon in the wardrobe – and snatches her phone, before hanging the 999 call up.
The operator asked, ‘Hello? Hello?’, before realising the line was dead.
But the discontinued call resulted in officers being sent to the house in Fetcham, where they rang the property’s entry buzzer which disturbed the burglars in the middle of the raid, causing them to flee.
Kurtis Dilks, 34, denies being part of the gang who allegedly smashed their way into Mr Cole and his partner’s home with a sledgehammer.
Sharon told how she ran to her son’s bedroom when she and Cole realised they were being burgled after spotting the men trying to gain entry, and Cole sprinted to their daughter’s room to be with her.
Ashley Cole with girlfriend Sharon Canu at the Empire State Building observation deck in 2019
Former England footballer Ashley Cole (pictured on Sunday arriving at Leicester’s King Power Stadium in his current role as Everton first team coach) told police ‘I knew now, I am going to die’ as masked raiders smashed into his home and tied his hands while he was holding his young daughter, a court has heard
Kurtis Dilks, 34, (pictured yesterday) is charged with being part of the gang who allegedly smashed their way into Mr Cole and his partner Sharon Canu’s home with a sledgehammer and threatened to cut the ex-footballer’s fingers off
She managed to dial 999 in time and got into the wardrobe with her son, but added: ‘Seconds later one man opened the door. ‘I screamed and got my son, and he went ‘shush’. He wanted my phone.’
Sharon said the man grabbed her phone and ended up the call, then walked away.
She said: ‘I walked out. I didn’t know if I was supposed to, but I needed to know where my daughter was.
‘Ashley was there on his knees with his hands tied behind his back. My daughter is just standing there next to him. I went with my son still in my arms, and got my daughter.
‘I knew what was going on, and what they were asking him. I just focused on my kids.
‘I could see Ashley on the floor, and they were all on him. They were saying, ‘Give me the jewellery, take me to the safe’.
‘I was worried because I knew we didn’t have much. They took Ashley, and I got very, very worried. I didn’t know if they were going to take him, hurt him, stab him?
‘We were burgled two years ago. We don’t have anything. I said, ‘Do you not think we would give you everything? Take the car’.
‘I thought they were never going to give up, because they think Ashley Cole is going to have a safe full of millions.’
Yesterday the court heard how Mr Cole accepted ‘I am going to die’ as masked raiders smashed into his home, binding his hands as he held his young daughter.
The ex-Arsenal and Chelsea defender was at home with his partner Sharon Canu (pictured together)
The masked gang were about to torture the former player by cutting off his fingers with electricians pliers when police suddenly arrived and they fled.
They had prepared him for the ordeal by dragging him downstairs and making him think they were going throw acid on his face or burn him alive.
Mr Cole sobbed as he told detectives in an interview played to the court: ‘I was on my knees, waiting to either be killed… I’ll never see my kids again.
‘The aggressive guy was shouting. ‘You are f****** lying to me, I am gonna do you’.
‘He kept saying, ‘Let me cut his hands. Let me cut his fingers. Give me his fingers’.’
Mr Cole said he had just got back from work with Chelsea’s under-15s before hearing a ‘banging sound’.
He told police: ‘As soon as I put Netflix on, literally 10 to 15 seconds after that, I heard like a banging sound.
‘I could hear it was like outside of my bedroom, just to the left, coming through the window. The banging was vibrating up the walls into my bedroom.
‘I literally looked at Sharon… and I said ‘what’s that?’ She said ‘I don’t know but that’s not a normal noise’.
‘I got off the bed and said to her ‘this is why I should keep a weapon, like a golf club, in my bedroom’.’
Mr Cole said he then looked at the cameras on his phone to see if he could identify the intruders.
He said: ‘I could see they were carrying a ladder towards my balcony. I said ‘Sharon, there’s someone in the garden trying to get on the balcony… call the police’.’
Recalling what happened when he stepped out on to his balcony, Mr Cole said: ‘I swore at them and shouted ‘help me, someone is trying to get into my house’ and they turned and went to run away.’
He continued: ‘Now I see a minimum of four running from a bush which is probably 15 yards away or so.
‘They half-shouted ‘agh’ and charged towards my bottom windows. I knew now, I am going to die.
‘I have got my kids in the house and I have no-one to help. I tried to shout on the balcony as loud as I could.
‘I just looked at (Ms Canu) and said ‘there’s people coming in the house, get the kids and call the police’. She was shook and a little bit scared.’
Mr Cole told police that he went to get his daughter while Ms Canu went to get their son.
He said: ‘I thought if I hide maybe they’re going to be more angry and if I have got my baby on my lap they won’t hurt us.’
The former England defender then appeared to get emotional as he put his hands on his face, before saying: ‘I said it wouldn’t affect me, but Jesus.’
Continuing to recall what happened, Mr Cole said: ‘I was on my knees, waiting to either be killed… I’ll never see my kids again, and I just heard lots of footsteps running up the stairs.
‘Obviously before that I heard the window smash. I was being brave, I didn’t want to show our daughter that I was scared for our lives.’
Recalling what happened after the intruders made their way upstairs, Mr Cole said one of the men said ‘get the f*** up’, before saying ‘give me all the f****** jewels and all the f****** kettles’ and ‘take me to your f****** safe’.
Kettles is cockney rhyming slang for watches, because kettles and hobs sound like fob, which is a type of timepiece.
Mr Cole said: ‘By then he’s grabbed me by the neck and I have got my daughter in my arms.
‘He said ‘let go of the baby’ and I said ‘I’m not leaving my little girl here… I’m not going to leave my baby’.
‘I’m trying to protect my daughter – he could see I wasn’t getting up easily and he was pushing my head forwards a little but harder and said ‘give me your arms, put your hands behind your back’.
‘His hand was always on my neck. He said ‘don’t you f****** look at me, I’m not f****** going to hurt you, I just want your f****** jewels and kettles’.
‘Now he’s getting a little bit forceful – he put my hands behind my back and I shuffle towards the door.
‘I said ‘look, just take everything, just leave me and my family alone’. Now my partner is at my door and is saying ‘leave him alone, leave him alone’.
‘By then, he’s now put these ties (on me) – they were black, long and thick. I remember him putting them on behind my back and he did it and tied it… really tight.
‘He’s picked me up by my arms and obviously still held my neck. I’m still in my pants and I remember thinking ‘what’s going to happen?’ I can see Sharon is crying.
‘My son, he’s seen my hands being tied behind my back, and I looked at him and saw his face – he was just white.’
The men finally fled with five designer watches, a BMW smart key, headphones, a Gucci handbag, and mobile telephones after police arrived and pressed a buzzer at the gate of Mr Cole’s home.
Dilks faces 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 £3.5 million tiara.
The trial continues.