A man from southeast London was found guilty of robbing Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and his wife, Peta, during a home raid in which a “Rambo-style knife” was held to his throat.
The home raid occurred in November 2021, as ski mask-wearing trespassers broke into the Cavendish home in Essex around 2:30 a.m. local time while the family was sleeping. Two Richard Mille watches, valued at 400,000 Euros and 300,000 Euros, were among the taken items.
A majority verdict from 10 jurors in Chelmsford Crown Court found 31-year-old Romario Henry guilty on two counts of robbery despite denying the charges. However, his co-defendant, Oludewa Okorosobo from south London was cleared by the jury on his two counts of robbery.
Okorosobo said that he was stabbed in the leg in September 2021, which was months before the robbery. He told police in December of that year that he was “unable to do any” of the crimes committed.
What pinned him to the crime was a cell phone that he said he loaned to a man who has admitted to robbery. Ali Sesay borrowed the phone to use a navigation app, and his DNA was found at the scene of the crime on Peta Cavendish’s phone.
Peta Cavendish said that she had gone downstairs to investigate a noise she had heard and found “men’s figures in balaclavas, and they were running towards the bottom of the stairs,” per PA Media. She also believed three-to-five people were at the scene.
Mark Cavendish was unable to alert authorities, and one of the intruders had “dragged” him by his feet and began unloading punches on him.
At the time, Cavendish had just returned from the hospital after suffering three broken ribs and a left lung tear following a cycle crash.
Then, Cavendish was placed in a headlock, his wife said, and was told, “Do you want me to stab you?” while holding a large black knife to his neck. The intruder was looking for his watches.
“It was black and had holes in it. It was a weapon,” Cavendish said.
While this was going on, Peta Cavendish and their three-year-old child were covered with a duvet, so they couldn’t see what was happening.
Peta Cavendish described the knife as “Rambo style,” according to BBC.
Authorities are continuing to look for two suspects, Jo Jobson and George Goddard, who jurors learned about during the trial.
Cavendish is a decorated British cyclist, having won 34 Tour de France stages, which tied him for first all-time with Eddy Merckx, a legendary cyclist.