We'll take kids, burglars told Gerrard's wife

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The Independent Online

The wife of footballer Steven Gerrard was told by burglars they would "take her kids" in a terrifying raid on their home, a court heard today.

Alex Curran confronted the masked gang, who demanded she hand over jewellery and the contents of a safe, Liverpool Crown Court was told.



Details of the ordeal emerged after Martin Wilson, 22, changed his plea and admitted the burglary following legal arguments today.



Graham Pickavance, for the prosecution, told the court the robbery took place in December 2007 as the Reds captain led his team to victory in a Champions League game against Marseille.



Ms Curran, 27, 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.



Mr Pickavance 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.



He said: "Alexandra Curran left her bedroom and met Lyndsey Johnston at the top of the stairs.



"Miss Johnston said she thought somebody had got into the house and as they looked they saw a group of men walking into the hallway."



The barrister said Miss Curran shouted to the men "leave now".



But the thieves raced up the stairs and one of them demanded "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 telling Ms Curran: "If you don't tell us where the safe is, we'll take the kids."



Mr Pickavance said Miss Curran told the men the safe was in a cupboard downstairs so they then "dragged" her with them to look.



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."



He said Miss Johnston picked up a telephone but was caught before she was able to get through to the emergency services.



She told the raiders she had made contact with the police so they demanded access to the CCTV system at the house.



Miss Curran, the court heard, told them she did not know how to access the system.



The gang then ran out of the house through French windows to the patio which had been smashed when they gained entry.



Police caught up with Wilson by analysing the use of his mobile phone, the court heard.



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



A mobile phone he used during one of those robberies, in which he and five others targeted the homes of wealthy Merseyside families, was also used close to the Gerrard home on the night it was raided, technical evidence showed.

Miss Curran and Miss Johnston did not attend today's hearing.



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



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



Wilson, of Hollowcroft, Stockbridge Village, Merseyside, had a long list of previous convictions, including drugs and motoring offences, the court was told.



A second charge of robbery, also in connection with the Gerrard incident, was withdrawn by the prosecution.



He was remanded in custody until sentencing on May 27.