Lewisham man found guilty of knifepoint robbery at Mark Cavendish family home

A jury has convicted a Lewisham man for his part in a vicious knifepoint robbery at the home of champion cyclist Mark Cavendish. 

Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, broke into the Cavendish home in Ongar, Essex, on November 27, 2021.  

He was part of a gang which terrorised the cyclist and his wife Peta – who hid the couple’s three-year-old daughter under a duvet to try and shield her from the traumatic events.  

Henry was found guilty of two counts of robbery and will be sentenced on February 7. 

A second man, Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, of Flaxman Road, Camberwell, was cleared.

Henry was convicted by a majority verdict of 10 to two, following 14 hours and 35 minutes of deliberation at Chelmsford Crown Court. 

Ali Sesay, 28 of Holding Street in Rainham, Kent, had already pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing. 

Henry was one of a group of masked intruders who made off with two Richard Mille watches worth a combined £700,000. They also took phones and a Louis Vuitton suitcase. 

Prosecutors said Mr Cavendish, 37, who holds the record for most Tour de France stage wins, was in bed with his wife Peta and their child when they heard male voices downstairs. 

The court heard how Mr Cavendish was dragged to his feet, punched and threatened with a ‘Rambo style’ knife by the intruders, who demanded his watches. 

Mark Cavendish with wife Peta (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images)

The couple later found the downstairs patio door smashed in. 

Police were called at around 2.30am. They found Sesay’s DNA on a mobile phone belonging to Mrs Cavendish that they did not take. 

Giving evidence, Henry admitted being in the Mercedes Benz that travelled from London to Ongar, but claimed he was “out of it” after taking drugs and unaware of a crime being committed. 

Mr Okorosobo said he was incapable of the alleged offences, as he was recovering from a stab wound to the leg he had received two months earlier.

He said he had merely loaned his mobile phone to Sesay, before it connected that night with cell masts in the Ongar area. 

Mr Okorosobo – who told the court he previously worked as a delivery driver, in hospitality at the Olympic Stadium in 2012 and as a personal trainer – held his head in his hands when he was found not guilty. 

In a statement after the court hearing, Mr and Mrs Cavendish said: “What happened that night is something that no family should ever have to go through.

“Although nothing can ever erase what our family went through, there is now some comfort that two men who broke into our family home and stole from us, assaulted Mark and terrified our children, are now convicted and will be facing what we hope will be an appropriate sentence for their actions.” 

Pictured top: A court artist’s sketch of Romario Henry, (left) and Oludewa Okorosobo (Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire/PA Images)

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