A man from south-east London has been found guilty of robbery Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and his wife Peta during a home raid in which he was held to his throat with a ‘Rambo-style knife’.
The home invasion took place in November 2021 when intruders wearing ski masks broke into the Cavendish home in Essex at around 2.30am local time while the family slept. Two Richard Mille Among the items stolen were watches worth €400,000 and €300,000.
The verdict by a majority of 10 Chelmsford Crown Court jury found Romario Henry, 31, guilty of two counts of robbery, despite denying the allegations. However, the jury acquitted his co-defendant, Oludewa Okarasoba, of south London, of two counts of robbery.
Okoosobo said he was stabbed in the leg in September 2021, a few months before the robbery. In December of the same year, he told the police that he “could not have committed any” of the crimes committed.
He was linked to the crime by a cell phone he said he lent to a man who confessed to the robbery. Ali Sesay borrowed the phone to use the navigation app and his DNA was found at the crime scene on Peta Cavendish’s phone.
Peta Cavendish said she went downstairs to investigate the noise she heard and found “male figures in balaclavas running towards the foot of the stairs”, according to PA Media. She also estimated that there were three to five people at the scene.
Mark Cavendish failed to alert the authorities and one of the attackers “pulled” him by the legs and began punching him.
At the time, Cavendish had just returned from hospital after breaking three ribs and a ruptured left lung in a cycling accident.
Cavendish was then locked up, his wife said, and told: “Do you want me to stab you?” holding a large black knife to his neck. The attacker was looking for his watches.
“It was black and had holes. It was a weapon,” Cavendish said.
While this was happening, Peta Cavendish and their three-year-old child were covered with a blanket so they couldn’t see what was happening.
Peta Cavendish described the knife as “Rambo-style,” according to the BBC.
Authorities continue to search for two suspects, Joe Jobson and George Goddard, who were identified by the jury during the trial.
Cavendish is a award-winning British cyclistwinning 34 stages of the Tour de France, which tied him with Eddy Merckx, the legendary cyclist.