Duo jailed for robbing British cycling star Cavendish at knifepoint

Two men had broken into British cycling star Mark Cavendish’s property in the early hours of November 27 in 2021 and taken items including two Richard Mille watches.

FILE PHOTO: British cyclist Mark Cavendish.

FILE PHOTO: British cyclist Mark Cavendish. | Photo Credit: AFP

Two men had broken into British cycling star Mark Cavendish’s property in the early hours of November 27 in 2021 and taken items including two Richard Mille watches.

Two men were jailed on Tuesday for robbing British cycling star Mark Cavendish and his wife Peta of their high-value watches in a knifepoint attack at their home in 2021.

The pair broke into the property about 40 kilometres (25 miles) northeast of London in the early hours of November 27 that year wearing balaclavas and threatened to stab the athlete.

They then took items including two Richard Mille watches with a combined value of £700,000 ($864,000).

Romario Henry, 31, of southeast London, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, after a jury convicted him last month of two counts of robbery by a majority verdict of 10 jurors to two.

Ali Sesay, 28, of Rainham, east of the capital, was jailed for 12 years after admitting two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing.

A third suspect, 28-year-old Oludewa Okorosobo of south London, denied two counts of robbery and was cleared by the jury.

“This was serious organised crime. This was no run-of-the-mill domestic burglary by opportunist amateurs,” Judge David Turner said as he handed down the sentences at Chelmsford Crown Court, east of London.

“This was planned, targeted, orchestrated, ruthless offending aimed at an internationally-known sportsman and his wife who happened to be brand ambassadors for exceptionally valuable Richard Mille watches.”

The trial heard Sesay’s DNA was found on the phone of Peta Cavendish, which was discovered outside the property.

She had described hiding their three-year-old child under the duvet so she could not see what was happening during the burglary.

Fighting back tears at Tuesday’s sentencing, she said the robbery had “turned a loving family home into a constant reminder of threat and fear”.

Mark Cavendish jointly owns the record for stage wins at the Tour de France, with 34 victories to his name, and also won an Olympic silver medal on the track at the 2016 Rio Games.

Last month, the 37-year-old rider signed a one-year contract with Astana, which as a World Tour team are slated for the Tour de France in July.

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