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Mark Cavendish subjected to knifepoint robbery while at home with family, court told

Mark Cavendish and his wife were subjected to a knifepoint robbery, with one masked raider threatening to stab the athlete, a court has been told. A trial, expected to last two weeks, continues at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Mark Cavendish said his family were 'extremely distressed' after the break-in at his home
Image: Mark Cavendish's home was burgled in November 2021

Mark Cavendish and his wife were subjected to a knifepoint robbery while at home with their family, with one masked raider threatening to stab the athlete, Chelmsford Crown Court has been told.

The intruders stole two Richard Mille watches, valued at £400,000 and £300,000 respectively, during the raide in the Ongar area of Essex.

Opening the case for the prosecution on Tuesday, Edward Renvoize said the Olympic cyclist and his wife Peta were in bed with their three-year-old child when they were woken by noise in the early hours of November 27, 2021.

Mr Renvoize told the court that Cavendish thought the noise was "male voices and people walking around the house," adding: "Because Mr Cavendish was recovering from a number of injuries at the time it was Mrs Cavendish who got up and went to investigate what they had heard.

"Her first thought was perhaps her older son had got up and may have knocked something over downstairs,"

He said Mrs Cavendish heard male voices that appeared to be coming from the kitchen area.

According to the barrister, Mrs Cavendish saw "figures of people running towards her and she ran back up the stairs shouting for her husband to get back into the bedroom."

Mr Renvoize said that she got back into the bedroom and Cavendish looked for a "panic alarm that he had", adding that some of the raiders "jumped on" Cavendish and "began punching him and telling him to turn the alarm off."

"One produced a knife and threatened to stab him up in front of his children. At this point there were three in the room and they began asking where the watches were.

"Mrs Cavendish during this time was looking after her three-year-old child. She was keeping her three-year-old son under the duvet to prevent him seeing the ordeal in the bedroom," the court was told

The prosecutor said Mrs Cavendish "tried to use her phone to call the police", but an intruder "grabbed the phone".

"She confirmed she hadn't called the police. The assailants then collected all the telephones from the bedroom. She believes one of the men put her phone into his pocket," Mr Renvoize said, adding Mrs Cavendish was "asked for the watch" and Mr Cavendish "pointed to his watch on the windowsill".

The court heard how, after taking two watches and a Louis Vuitton case, "the assailants ordered that the gates were opened."

"The robbers then left. They took the telephones, the suitcases and watches," Mr Renvoize said.

The barrister added that CCTV captured cars drive past the home before the raid in what "appeared to be a reconnaissance mission" of the semi-rural location.

He said a vehicle then pulled up and turned off the lights and "four individuals" were seen on camera making their way closer into the property.

He said that Peta Cavendish's phone was found outside the property, and that the "misplacing of that telephone by one of the robbers" was an "error in what was a carefully planned and executed robbery."

Mr Renvoize said that police found DNA on the phone, which was linked to Ali Sesay, 28, of Holding Street, Rainham, east London.

Mr Renvoize told jurors that Sesay had "pleaded guilty to the offence of robbery already."

He said that police "were able to identify a number of other individuals who appeared to have been in communication with a telephone belonging to Mr Sesay."

Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, Lewisham, south-east London and 28-year-old Oludewa Okorosobo, of Flaxman Road, Camberwell, south London, both deny two counts of robbery and are on trial.

Mr Renvoize added the jury will hear details about two more men during the trial: Jo Jobson and George Goddard.

The trial, estimated to last around two weeks, continues.

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