A balaclava-wearing raider punched Tour de France legend Mark Cavendish and threatened to “stab him up” in entrance of his kids, a court docket heard yesterday.
Spouse Peta, 36, additionally had a knife pointed at her as she tried to cover three-year-old son Casper underneath a quilt.
The gang took £700,000 ($A1.2m) of watches however one was caught after his DNA was discovered on Peta’s deserted telephone exterior.
4 or 5 burglars raided the couple’s rural South Essex house however police haven’t recognized all, and two are nonetheless at massive.
Yesterday, prosecutor Edward Renvoize advised Chelmsford crown court docket: “This was not a run-of-the-mill theft by opportunist thieves.
“It was a well-orchestrated, well-executed, deliberate invasion of the house of a well known particular person with the intention to acquire high-value timepieces.
“The perpetrators had massive knives and hid their identities with balaclavas. They threatened the couple and meted out violence to Mark Cavendish to satisfy their calls for.”
Romario Henry, 31, of Lewisham, South East London, and Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, of Camberwell, South London, deny being a part of the two.30am raid. A 3rd man, Ali Sesay, 28, has admitted his function.
The court docket heard Olympian Mark, 37, and mannequin Peta had been in mattress with Casper on November 27, 2021.
Manx Missile Mark — the joint-highest stage winner in Tour de France historical past with 34 — was recovering from a collapsed lung and damaged ribs from a crash so Peta acquired as much as examine a noise.
She thought her son Finnbar, 16, had acquired up and knocked one thing over.
However Mr Renvoize stated: “As she started to go down the steps, she turned conscious of individuals working in direction of her. She turned and ran again up, shouting for her husband to get into the bed room.
“Mr Cavendish tried to search out the panic alarm. As he did so, two of the assailants pounced on him and began punching him, demanding that he flip off the alarm.
“One produced a knife and threatened to ‘Stab him up’ in entrance of his kids.
“Mrs Cavendish was understandably taking care of her three-year-old youngster, maintaining him underneath the quilt to cease him from seeing what was occurring.”
The court docket heard Peta tried to name police on her cell, however one intruder seen and threatened her with a knife.
The robbers demanded to know the place the watches had been. When Mark pointed in direction of his £400,000 Richard Mille timepiece on the windowsill, the raider replied: “That’s not it.”
They discovered a small protected and ordered Mark to open it, however he was unable to as a result of its batteries had been lifeless. He was then “subjected to extra violence”, the court docket heard.
The burglars ultimately fled together with his watch, and Peta’s £300,000 ($A530,000) Richard Mille plus the empty protected, three telephones and a Louis Vuitton suitcase. None have been recovered.
Mark had managed to set off the panic alarm. However by the point the personal safety firm confirmed up the raiders had fled — utilizing two getaway automobiles, the court docket heard.
When police arrived they discovered Peta’s telephone, which had been snatched and deserted exterior.
Mr Renvoize stated: “The misplacement of that telephone was fairly an error.” Forensic officers discovered DNA on it belonging to Sesay.
Jurors additionally heard telephone information present mobiles belonging to Henry and Okorosobo had been near the home that evening.
The court docket heard the gang knew particular watches they wished after they broke in by way of a patio door.
The house had been raided a yr earlier and most of the couple’s belongings had already been stolen.
Mr Renvoize stated: “Police checked out telephone information and had been capable of see the defendants travelled from a selected space of South London as much as Essex and again virtually instantly after the theft.”
He added the 2 defendants don’t deny the housebreaking happened, however deny they had been concerned in it.
Mr Renvoize added: “We can not say we’ve recognized every particular person concerned or what every did.
“Whether or not the people you might be contemplating had been the drivers or went into the property itself issues not — every had a particular function on this theft.”
Mark and Peta have 4 kids — Delilah, ten, Frey, seven, Casper, now 4, and four-month-old Astrid.
She additionally has Finnbar from a earlier relationship.
The trial, which is anticipated to final two weeks, continues.
This story first appeared in The Solar and was republished with permission.