Man accused of robbing Mark Cavendish 'had not tried to drive since stabbing'

Handout photo dated 29/09/21 issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of a CCTV image taken from the property of Mark Cavendish showing suspects leaving through the open front gate on Mr Cavendish's property, which has been showing to the jury in the Mark Cavendish robbery case at Chelmsford Crown Court. Picture date: Friday January 6, 2023.
Credit: PA/Essex Police
A CCTV image taken from the property of Mark Cavendish shows suspects leaving through the open front gate. Credit: Essex Police

An ex-delivery driver accused of robbing Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish told a court he had not tried to drive since being stabbed in the leg, months before the raid.

Balaclava-clad intruders broke into Cavendish’s home in Ongar, Essex, on 27 November 2021 while he was asleep upstairs with his wife Peta, with their three-year-old child also in the bed, prosectors said.

Two Richard Mille watches, valued at £400,000 and £300,000, were among the items taken in the knifepoint break-in at about 2.30am.

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, phone and safe and his wife of a watch, phone and Louis Vuitton suitcase.

Okorosobo said he was stabbed in the head and leg on 16 September 2021.

Giving evidence on Thursday, he told jurors: “Since the day of my stabbing I haven’t attempted to drive.”

He added: “I couldn’t even sit in the front passenger seat as my leg had to be straight.”

Romario Henry, 31, left, and Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, during their trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. Credit: PA

Okorosobo said he has had a driving licence since 17 and worked as a delivery driver from 2016 to 2018 after dropping out of university.

Earlier, he said he had lent his phone to another man, Ali Sesay, 28, in the early hours of November 27.

Okorosobo said he was not with his phone when, as his barrister Shahid Rashid described, it was “pinging off cell masts in the Ongar area”.

Sesay, of Holding Street, Rainham, Kent, admitted two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing and the trial was told his DNA was found on the phone of Mrs Cavendish after it was dropped outside the home.

Mark Cavendish, centre, leaves court during the trial of two men accused of robbing him at his family home. Credit: PA

Last January, Essex Police released photographs of two other men wanted for questioning about the raid.

Jo Jobson, then 25, was said to be from Plaistow, east London, while George Goddard, then 26, was said to be from Loughton in Essex. Goddard also has links to the Isle of Dogs in London, police said.

Neither suspect has been caught.

Okorosobo said he did not give a statement to police after he was stabbed.

Asked why not by prosecutor Edward Renvoize, the defendant replied: “I didn’t want to seem like a grass.”

The trial continues.

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