Timeline of events: How a gang of robbers terrorised a region and stole a multi-million pound tiara

Some of the jewels stolen (L) and CCTV of the robbers (R)

Multiple men have been convicted for their roles in a series of robberies - the most notable being a burglary of footballer Ashley Cole's home and, in other incident, the theft of a tiara worth over three million pounds.

At the conclusion of a trial at Nottingham Crown Court, six men were convicted for their roles in a string of robberies described as "ruthlessly executed" by a Judge.

They will be sentenced later this month.

Crimes were carried out over a number of incidents, each one seemingly cleverly planned and executed, and utilising the threat of extreme violence.

20th November 2018 - Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire

CCTV shows thieves cutting their way into the Harley Gallery on the night of the Tiara robbery

Thieves broke into the Harley Gallery around 10pm at night. Using specialist cutting equipment they smashed their way into a glass cabinet and stole the Portland Tiara and brooch worth almost four million pounds.

The Court heard the 2018 theft of the “national treasure” and its associated brooch was a “shocking event” and that the items will never again be seen in their original state.

They then smashed into the cabinet to retrieve valuable items

The 6th Duke of Portland commissioned jewellers Cartier to create the tiara for his wife Winifred, Duchess of Portland.

She wore the diamond-encrusted headpiece, whose centrepiece is the Portland Diamond, to the coronation of King Edward, the Queen’s great-grandfather, in 1902.

11th March 2019 - Brook Farm Court, Leicestershire

At around 7:30 PM CCTV showed thieves use a ladder to get into a house and steal jewellery, worth half a million pounds.

22nd March 2019 - Adam House, Nottinghamshire

Homeowner Martin Wardle arrived at the property to be confronted by a gang of 6-7 men dressed in balaclavas and dark clothing. He was beaten, tied up, and had one of his earlobes cut with pliers in front of his wife.

He was then driven by the men to the home of his elderly mother, where they stole £800 from a safe.

1st May 2019 - Caythorpe in Lincolnshire

A gang of four men broke into the home of ex-Derby County footballer Tom Huddlestone, who was playing in Swansea - although his wife and son were home.

Wife Joanna was tied up while the gang demanded to know where the jewels and watches were. They stole half a million pounds worth of jewellery

26th July - Chilwell in Nottinghamshire

Aiden Palmer and Sophie Attwood were in bed at his parents home. Mr Palmer woke to find a man in the bedroom who put a sharp object - possibly a knife - against his neck

He and Ms Attwood had their feet and hands bound with cable ties, while the gang demanded to know where money and jewels were.

The robbers eventually left with £2,000 in cash and several watches worth an estimated £15,000

21st January 2020 - Guildford Road, Surrey

Ashley Cole Credit: PA

Late in the evening Ex-England, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Derby County footballer Ashley Cole was at home with his partner Sharon Canu and their two young children.

They're watching TV when they hear a noise outside. Cole opened the window to see at least four men dressed in camouflage clothing, wearing balaclavas, and army boots running towards the house. 

He told Ms Canu to call 999. They then tied his hands, and threatened to cut his fingers off. The robbers eventually left when they heard police sirens - but not before taking several designer watches and two phones.

In Court, Cole described the fear he felt when the robbers threatened him.

"I was on my knees, waiting to either be killed," he said. "I'll never see my kids again.”