Burglar jailed for Gerrard wife threat

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An "extremely violent" burglar who threatened to abduct the children of Steven Gerrard and Alex Curran during a raid on their home was jailed for seven years and four months today.

Martin Wilson, 22, was part of a gang of masked thieves who smashed their way into the England and Liverpool captain's mansion.

The star's wife, Ms Curran, 27, confronted the gang who demanded she hand over jewellery and the contents of a safe or else they would "take her kids", Liverpool Crown Court heard.







Wilson, of Hollowcroft, Stockbridge Village, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to the burglary last month.



Sentencing today, Judge Robert Warnock told him: "You threatened the occupants of the house with violence and the use of a knife.



"Particularly seriously, you threatened to abduct the children if she did not hand over the safe.



"You are both venal and extremely violent. You have no regard for the dignity and security that is the right of every householder.



"Your actions are determined by your own selfishness and greed."



The defendant is already serving six years and eight months in jail after admitting conspiracy to burgle at Liverpool Crown Court last June.



He was told today's sentence will run concurrently and is expected to add another two years to his total time in prison.



He blinked away tears as he was taken down to the cells.









The robbery took place on December 11 2007 as Gerrard, 30, led Liverpool to victory in a Champions League game against Marseille.



Ms Curran had remained at the home in Formby, Merseyside, with their two children, Lilly-Ella and Lexie, now aged six and four, and their nanny, Lyndsey Johnston.



Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, described the mansion as secured by high walls, a fence and electronically-controlled gates.



He said the two women and the children were in their bedrooms when, at about 9.30pm, a loud smash was heard from downstairs.



Ms Curran and Miss Johnston met each other at the top of the stairs and, as they looked down, they saw a group of men walking out of the living room.



Ms Curran shouted to the men "Leave now", the barrister said.



But the thieves raced up the stairs and grabbed hold of the women's arms.



One of them put his face right up to Ms Curran's and said "Where's the f****** safe?" and "Where's the f****** jewellery?"



Ms Curran told the men there was no safe and jewellery was not kept at the house.



One of the gang then directed another to "Get the blade out of the car", before another told Ms Curran: "If you don't tell us where the safe is, we'll take the kids."



Mr Pickavance said Ms Curran was "very frightened" and told the men the safe was in a cupboard downstairs so they then "dragged" her by the arm to where it was.



They also forced her to hand over the silver Rolex watch she was wearing.



He added: "The men attempted to take the safe but they could not move it very far because it was too heavy.



"So they began to ransack the room.



"As they did so, Miss Johnston was able to pick up a telephone and call the police.



"One of the men saw her so they demanded access to the CCTV system.



"Ms Curran told them she did not know how to work it and the men ran out of the house through French windows to the patio which had been smashed when they gained entry."



Mr Pickavance added: "This property was targeted as it is a large house with high value and powerful cars parked outside.



"The Crown cannot say, however, that it was targeted because it was Steven Gerrard's home."







Wilson's previous conviction relates to a string of robberies in the North West which involved raids on the homes of up to 16 wealthy families.



During those incidents, victims were subjected to violence, threatened with knives and guns, and tied up, the court heard.



Prior to that conviction, his earlier brushes with the law included car theft, possession of drugs and escape from lawful custody.



Detectives investigating the Gerrard robbery caught Wilson because a mobile phone he used during one of the earlier robberies was also used close to the Gerrard home on the night it was raided, technical evidence showed.



Ian Harris, defending, told the court Wilson was already serving a "heavy" prison sentence.



He added that the defendant had written a letter to Judge Warnock.



"The letter shows a maturing attitude and a sea change in his lifestyle, giving cause for optimism in the future," the barrister said.



Gerrard was one of several high-profile footballers to be targeted by burglars while taking part in a match.



Merseyside Police said Wilson is not linked to any of those other incidents.



The other members of the gang remain unidentified and police said the hunt continues.







Gerrard is currently with the England team in South Africa for the World Cup.



His wife did not attend court.



Victim impact statements which they gave to police were handed to Judge Henry Globe QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, at the last hearing but were not read out to the court.



The judge said the statements described their continuing "shock and fright" at the ordeal.





Chief Superintendent Tony Doherty, of Merseyside Police, said: "This conviction and sentence is a result of extensive and thorough inquiries by our officers.



"We are committed to reducing burglaries across the force area and today's result reflects our commitment to continue to drive down burglary."