FORMER Cherries striker Danny Ings's home was ransacked while he was playing a Premier League game for Southampton.

Three raiders, brandishing knives and a barbecue skewer, broke in and stole electronic goods.

They also stole a van from the driveway of the four bedroom property in the Botley area of Hampshire

Now one of the men, Jack Cove, has been jailed after admitting his part in the aggravated burglary.

The 21-year-old was sentenced to nine years in prison after also pleading guilty to holding a knife to a man’s throat during another aggravated burglary.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Cove and two other men broke into the striker’s home on May 22 last year while he played in Saints' 1-1 draw with Huddersfield at St Mary’s.

When the player, who came through the youth ranks at AFC Bournemouth, and a friend returned to the property around 7pm, they found it had been ransacked.

Prosecutor Victoria Hill said CCTV showed three men enter the home of the former Bournemouth and Burnley star – two armed with knives and the other a barbecue skewer.

She said: “The group stole goods valued at around £1,300 and a Ford Luton van was also stolen.”

Ms Hill also said in another incident Cove and another kicked their way into a home in Adelaide Road, St Denys, on March 21.

The court heard Cove then held a knife to the homeowner’s throat, making contact with the neck, while his accomplice stole £200.

Ms Hill said Cove and two others were involved in another aggravated burglary at a property in Tatwin Close,Thornhill, on September 17.

The court heard the owners were on holiday when the gang broke into the property and stole items, including jewellery and watches.

A neighbour called the police and officers arrested Cove and another in the property, in which a hunting knife was also found.

Cove pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated burglary. He also pleaded guilty to one count of bank card fraud, one count of criminal damage, one count of dangerous driving, relating to a crash on his motorbike, as well as one count of driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and two counts of taking a vehicle without consent.

Cove also asked three further offences to be taken into consideration.

In mitigation, Keely Harvey said Cove had an unresolved childhood issue and had struggled with drug use. Ms Harvey said Cove, of no fixed address, had shown remorse for his behaviour.

In sentencing, Judge Nicholas Rowland said his sentence would focus on the most serious crime, the aggravated burglary in Adelaide Road, while reflecting the other offences.