Two men currently stand trial at Kingston Crown Court for using their so-called ‘friendship’ with footballer Ashley Cole to steal over £110,00 worth of luxury jewellery.
The footballer’s ‘friends’ (associates? acquaintances?) lured two jewellers to the Verta hotel in Battersea by telling them that Ashley would be there to meet them with the intent of buying the expensive jewellery.
They were then allegedly beaten and robbed by Barry ‘Junior’ Eaton, 33, and Raphael Francis, 23 who wore balaclavas and carried a fake handgun to commit the theft. One of the jewellers Hugo Boss bag containing Rolex diamond watches, diamond earrings, rings and a pendant and a Casio diamond watch was recovered after the incident.
However, the second jewellers bag containing six designer watches worth £110,000 was never found.
Prosecutor Luke Ponte opened the case saying:
They thought they were going to meet Ashley Cole – who most of you will know as the England and Chelsea footballer, and the rest if you will know as Cheryl’s ex.
They thought they were going to meet him to sell some jewellery because Mr Eaton, in the dock, knew Mr Cole and told them might be in the market for some jewellery.
But they weren’t going to meet Ashley Cole. They were going to be assaulted and robbed by young men with covered faces, one of whom produced what looked like a handgun.
Eaton, who has known Ashley for two years and carries on a friendship with him through occasional phone conversations and BBM chats, mentioned the jewellers to Ashley three weeks before the attack, but the footballer showed no interest informing Eaton that he already had his own jeweller.
The suspects, both from Norwood, deny two charges of robbery and one charge of carrying an imitation firearm. The trial continues.