Two suspects wanted over Mark Cavendish knifepoint robbery 'not apprehended', court told

Detectives have been unable to find two suspects who are wanted over a knifepoint robbery at the home of Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish, a court has heard.

Officers said the pair had not been "apprehended by police" and that investigations to find them were "sensitive".

Masked intruders armed with knives broke into Mr Cavendish's home in the early hours of 27 November 2021 as he was asleep with his wife Peta and their three-year-old child, prosecutor Edward Renvoize told jurors.

Two other men deny two counts of robbery over the raid in the Ongar area of Essex and are on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

A third man admitted two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing and will be sentenced, but officers have been unable to locate a fourth and fifth man, who have been named as suspects.

Detective Constable Brian Eagling said it had not been possible to locate suspects Jo Jobson and George Goddard, adding that investigations to find them were "sensitive".

He told jurors: "Although they haven't been apprehended by police, the prosecution say it's quite clear from the evidence that they were involved, but of course you are not being asked to return verdicts upon them."

Suspects identified from communications data

Mr Renvoize said that 28-year-old Ali Sesay, of Holding Street, Rainham, east London, who pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing, "managed to leave his DNA on the phone of Peta Cavendish".

"Police began examining communications made by Mr Sesay's telephone and from that, the prosecution say, it was possible to identify individuals who had been in touch with Mr Sesay," he said.

"And by further investigation, where those phones attributed to other individuals had been, where they had travelled to and where they had come back to."

DNA swab returned 'mixed profile'

Detective Constable Eagling agreed with Mr Renvoize that suspects Jobson and Goddard were identified from communications data.

Mr Renvoize said a DNA swab was taken from Mr Cavendish's arm, where it was held by one of the assailants, and it had returned a "mixed profile".

The prosecutor added that the "overwhelming inference" of the findings was that "George Goddard was one of the people who went into the property and touched Mark Cavendish".

Earlier in the trial, the court heard that robbers "jumped on" Mr Cavendish and one "threatened to stab him in front of his children".

The couple were woken up by a noise in the early hours of the morning, jurors heard.

Robbers left with two Richard Mille watches

Mr Renvoize said the robbers left with two Richard Mille watches, valued at £400,000 and £300,000 respectively.

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.

They are accused of robbing Cavendish of a watch, phone and safe, and to robbing the athlete's wife of a watch, phone and suitcase.

Mr Renvoize said Okorosobo told police he "had no knowledge of the robbery, he said he had never been to the location, he said he wouldn't be capable of committing the offence because of a leg injury he had sustained".

"He said he hadn't had his phone and he had to pay to get it back," Mr Renvoize said.

"He didn't expand upon the information he provided by way of a written statement."

Henry was arrested on 18 December 2021 and declined to answer questions from police, the barrister said.

Archangelo Power, for Henry, said that his client accepts that the phone number attributed to him by investigators was his.

Mr Power said Henry also accepts being in one of the vehicles and being at Mr Cavendish's address, "but not inside the property".

The trial continues.