Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and his wife were stabbed while at home with their children – and one masked gunman threatened to stab the athlete, a court heard.
Intruders made off with two Richard Mille watches worth £400,000 and £300,000 respectively during a raid in the Ongar area of Essex, Chelmsford Crown Court said.
Cavendish and his wife Peta were in bed with their three-year-old child when they were awakened by the noise in the early hours of November 27, 2021, Edward Renvoize said, opening the prosecution on Tuesday.
He said Cavendish thought the noise was “men’s voices and people walking around the house”.
“As Mr Cavendish was recovering from multiple injuries at the time, Ms Cavendish got up and went to investigate what they had heard,” said Renvoize.
“Her first thought was that perhaps her elder son had gotten up and might have knocked something over at the bottom.”
He said Peta heard male voices that seemed to come from the kitchen.
“Then she became aware of the figures of people running towards her,” said the lawyer.
“She ran back up the stairs screaming for her husband to come back to the bedroom.”
Mr Renvoize said she went back to the bedroom and Cavendish was looking for a “panic alarm he had”.
Mr Renvoize said some of the raiders “jumped on” Cavendish and “started beating him and telling him to turn off the alarm”.
“One pulled a knife and threatened to kill him in front of his children,” the prosecutor said.
“At that moment, there were three people in the room and they started asking where the watches were.
“Mrs Cavendish was caring for her three-year-old at the time,” he said.
“She kept her three-year-old son under the covers so he wouldn’t see him suffer in the bedroom.”
The prosecutor said Mrs Cavendish “tried to use her phone to call the police” but the intruder “caught the phone”.
He said the phone was found outside the property and that “one of the thieves lost this phone” was “a mistake in a carefully planned and executed robbery”.
Police examined the phone and found DNA that matched Ali Sesay, 28, from Rainham, east London.
Mr. Renvoize told jurors that Sesay “has already pleaded guilty to the crime of robbery.”
He said police “were able to identify a number of other people who appeared to be communicating with a phone belonging to Mr Sesay.”
Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, Lewisham, south-east London, and Oludeva Okorsobo, 28, of Flaxman Road, Camberwell, south London, both deny two charges of robbery and are on trial.
Mr Renvoize told jurors that the robbers “inflicted violence on Mark Cavendish”, adding: “It is quite clear that the attackers were interested in obtaining the watches, and once they had obtained them, they left the premises with very little else.”
The process, which is expected to take about two weeks, is ongoing.