Footballer’s wife feared she might be ‘killed or raped’ during raid, court told

Joanna Dixon, wife of former Premier League footballer Tom Huddlestone, was tied up by robbers during a break-in at the couple’s home in May 2019.

Josh Payne
Thursday 05 May 2022 14:26 BST
Two of Tom Huddlestone’s watches worth £40,000 and £18,000 were stolen in the raid, the court was told
Two of Tom Huddlestone’s watches worth £40,000 and £18,000 were stolen in the raid, the court was told (PA Archive)

The wife of former Premier League midfielder Tom Huddlestone said in a statement read to jurors that she thought masked robbers “might kill me” as they stole thousands of pounds’ worth of jewellery – including an FA Cup runners-up medal.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that other items stolen from the couple’s home in Caythorpe, Nottinghamshire, included a £121,000 engagement ring and two of Huddlestone’s watches worth £40,000 and £18,000.

In a statement read to the court by prosecutor Samuel Skinner on Thursday, Joanna Dixon said she went through a “range of emotions” as two men tied her up with cable ties during a break-in at the property on May 1 2019.

Kurtis Dilks is accused of conspiring to rob Joanna Dixon (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

“I was predominantly scared, but I was also concerned for my son,” Ms Dixon’s statement said.

Kurtis Dilks, 34, Ashley Cumberpatch, 36, and Andrew MacDonald, 42, are all accused of conspiring together to rob Ms Dixon.

The trio are also alleged to have converted criminal property alongside jewellers Sercan Evsin and Tevfik Guccuk on May 2 2019.

Dilks, of Whitegate Vale, Clifton, Nottingham, is also charged with being part of a four-strong gang who smashed their way into the Surrey home of former England left-back Ashley Cole with a sledgehammer in January 2020.

It is alleged an aggressive robber threatened to cut the former Chelsea, Arsenal and Derby County defender’s fingers off during the violent break-in.

On Thursday, Ms Dixon said the robbers had told her they knew Huddlestone, who now plays for Hull City, was playing a match for Derby County away at Swansea City as they raided drawers and safes.

Sercan Evsin, left, and Tevfik Guccuk are charged with converting criminal property (Jacob King/PA) (PA Wire)

Her statement read: “On May 1, I was at home with my son while Tom was away playing football for Derby County.

“One of the bedroom doors opened and I thought it was Tom, but I wasn’t expecting him back until 2am.

“I said ‘what are you doing?’

“It was then I realised I was faced with someone who wasn’t Tom.

“I went through a range of emotions – predominantly scared, but also concerned for my son.

“I always suspected as (Tom’s) job is high-profile, that we would become a target for people to come into our home and steal from us.”

I thought they might kill or rape me - I was utterly powerless

Joanna Dixon

Addressing what the masked men did next, Ms Dixon said: “They both had their fingers to their mouths, telling me to not say anything and not to touch the panic buttons.

“They said ‘don’t make this difficult, we don’t want to manhandle you’.

“I was under the sheets and just wearing underwear, I was very vulnerable at the time.

“I thought they might kill or rape me – I was utterly powerless.

“Male one seemed quite edgy and the more aggressive of the two.

“He kept asking for jewellery and watches.

“He was very angry and pulled out all the drawers and clothes.”

Ashley Cole was the victim of a ‘violent’ break-in at his home in 2020 (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Archive)

Ms Dixon continued: “I said Tom should be home soon, and male one said ‘don’t lie to me, that will make me angry’.

“I again said he should be home soon, and he replied ‘well if he does come home he will be in trouble too, and I know he has an away game’.”

Ms Dixon said the men then ordered her to place her son in his cot and hold her arms out, and after she refused three times, one said: “He won’t be safe unless he is in the cot.”

She said after a cable tie was placed around her left wrist, Ms Dixon then asked for the one on her right wrist not to be tied so tightly, but the robber secured it “even tighter”.

Jurors were then read a list of the items stolen in the break-in, including a small wedding band worth £2,000 to £3,000, a wedding eternity ring with a platinum band worth £3,000, a diamond bracelet worth £6,000 and a Rolex watch worth £8,000.

Other items included a second engagement ring worth £17,000 to £18,000 and eternity rings worth £1,500 each.

The trial is taking place at Nottingham Crown Court (Rui Vieira/PA) (PA Archive)

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.

Cumberpatch, MacDonald, Guccuk and Evsin, alongside five other men and a woman, 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.

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