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Judge gives directions to jurors in Mark Cavendish robbery trial

The judge presiding over the trial of two men accused of robbing Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish has given a series of directions to jurors.

Prosecutors said balaclava-wearing intruders broke into Cavendish’s home in Ongar, Essex, as he was asleep upstairs with his wife Peta – with their three-year-old child also in the bed.

Two Richard Mille watches, valued at £400,000 and £300,000, were among the items taken in the knifepoint raid at around 2.30am on November 27, 2021.

Mark Cavendish robbery court case
Romario Henry, 31 (left) and Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

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

They are accused of robbing Cavendish of a watch, a phone and a safe, and of robbing the athlete’s wife of a watch, a phone and a Louis Vuitton suitcase.

Ali Sesay, 28 of Holding Street, Rainham, Kent, admitted two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing, and the trial was previously told that his DNA was found on Mrs Cavendish’s phone, which was taken and found outside the property.

Okorosobo said in evidence that he did not attend the Cavendish address and that he was not with his phone when it connected with cell masts in the area.

Henry said that he was in a Mercedes car that travelled to the address on the night in question, but that he was not aware of a plan to rob the Cavendishes and was not involved in the robbery.

Mark Cavendish robbery court case
A watch stolen from the home of Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish (Essex Police)

Two other men, Jo Jobson and George Goddard, have been named as suspects in the case but have not been apprehended by police.

Jurors heard the last of the evidence in the trial on Tuesday, with Judge David Turner KC then giving them legal directions.

“There’s no dispute in this case that robberies occurred,” said the judge.

“The issue is who’s responsible, who was there, who played a part.

“The prosecution says the two defendants you’re trying were party to a joint enterprise to rob.”

Explaining joint enterprise, the judge continued: “You need to be sure these defendants before you were in it together with others including Mr Sesay.

“Provided you’re sure of that, you do not need to be sure of precise roles and responsibilities either in the planning, the run up or during events on the night.

“You do not need to be sure for example who’s the mastermind and who’s the gopher, who’s the captain and who’s a foot soldier.”

He said that in this case the prosecution “can’t say who did what precisely but they do say each (defendant) was guilty”.

The judge told jurors: “You decide who you believe and which evidence is reliable and which is not.”

He asked jurors to return to the court at 10am on Wednesday to hear closing speeches from the prosecution and barristers for both defendants, before the judge sums up evidence in the case to them.