Mark Cavendish robbery accused claims he was 'out of it' on drugs and took no part in raid

170123 ANGLIA Romario Henry Mark Cavendish trial
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Romario Henry, left, and Oludewa Okorosobo appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court. Credit: PA Images

A man accused of robbing Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish told a court he was in a car used to travel to the break-in but was so "out of it on drugs" he was not aware of or involved in the crime.

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, prosecutors said.

Mrs Cavendish said that one of the raiders held a Rambo-style knife to her husband's throat and threatened to stab him before the gang made off.

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.

Mark Cavendish leaves Chelmsford Crown Court Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Henry admitted being in the Mercedes which travelled to Ongar in the early hours of 27 November 2021.

Giving evidence on Monday at Chelmsford Crown Court, he insisted he was not aware of a plan to rob the Cavendishes and was not involved in the robbery.

The court heard he had been visiting his murdered brother's grave earlier on the evening of November 26, where he said he drank and took drugs.

The court heard Henry did not leave the vehicle.

Asked about his physical and mental state at that point, Henry said: "I was out of it."

He added: "I was so messed up. The effect that these drugs had had on me on that day. I was none the wiser. I was just there. I can't even describe to you right now ... how I was even operating."

Henry denied knowing about a plan to rob the Cavendish home, denied being one of the four men caught entering the property on CCTV, denied acting as a lookout, denied having been on any reconnaissance trips there and denied any intention to join in with the others to rob the Olympian's family.

Ali Sesay, 28, 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.

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

Henry told jurors earlier that his mental wellbeing deteriorated after his brother was killed in their mother's house.

"I started to drink ... a lot of alcohol. I started to consume drugs," he told the court.

He added that he would drink Hennessy "from morning until night" and started to take small amounts of cocaine before his drug consumption "escalated" to taking crack, cannabis, Xanax and promethazine.

Henry said: "At the time these were the only things that was crippling my pain."

The trial continues.

It was one of the biggest news stories of our time - and it's still not over. So what did Boris Johnson know about Downing Street’s notorious parties? With fresh revelations from our Number 10 sources, in their own words, listen to the inside story...