Man found guilty of robbing Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish in knifepoint raid

The Olympian and his wife Peta were robbed of their high-value watches in a knifepoint raid at their home in November 2021.

Sam Russell
Monday 30 October 2023 15:08 GMT
Mark Cavendish and Peta Cavendish were robbed of their valuable watches (Yui Mok/ PA)
Mark Cavendish and Peta Cavendish were robbed of their valuable watches (Yui Mok/ PA)

A third man has been found guilty of robbing Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and his wife Peta of their high-value watches in a knifepoint raid at their home.

A balaclava-clad gang, armed with large knives, threatened the couple and took two Richard Mille watches worth a total of £700,000 on November 27 2021.

In February, two men were jailed at Chelmsford Crown Court for their role in the robbery in Ongar, Essex.

A third man who was wanted by police, Jo Jobson, handed himself in at Chelmsford police station in June this year, 18 months after officers first issued a photo appeal identifying him as a suspect.

The 27-year-old, of no fixed address, denied two counts of robbery but was found guilty following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Jurors returned their verdicts on Monday after less than two days of deliberations.

Jobson appeared to shake his head as the unanimous guilty verdicts were returned.

Edward Renvoize, prosecuting, said the gang threatened the couple and “meted out violence to Mark Cavendish” during the raid, which happened at around 2.30am while the couple’s children were at home.

The prosecutor described the robbery as a “well-orchestrated and executed, planned invasion of a home of well-known individuals with the intention of grabbing high-value timepieces”.

He said one of the intruders took Mrs Cavendish’s mobile phone and it was later found outside their property, which he said was a “significant error in what was an otherwise carefully executed plan”.

DNA attributed to Ali Sesay, who pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, was found on Mrs Cavendish’s phone.

“It was from the communications data from that telephone belonging to Mr Sesay that police were able to identify a number of other telephone numbers that appear to have been involved in the offence,” said Mr Renvoize.

He said one such mobile phone number was “attributed to” Jobson.

The defendant claimed the phone was not his, but his account was rejected by jurors.

In February this year, two men were jailed at Chelmsford Crown Court for their roles in the robbery.

Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, Lewisham, south-east London, had denied two counts of robbery but was found guilty after an earlier trial and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ali Sesay, 28, of Holding Street, Rainham, Kent, admitted two counts of robbery and was jailed for 12 years.

Judge Timothy Walker told Jobson: “The evidence against you was overwhelming.”

He remanded him in custody until Wednesday, when he is due to be sentenced.

Jobson said “Thank you” before he was led from the dock of the court to the cells.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Atkin of Essex Police said afterwards that Jobson “believed he could evade justice, but he was wrong”.

He said that George Goddard, who is from Loughton but has connections across east London, is still wanted in connection with the case.

Mr Atkin said: “Jobson’s conviction leaves just one final piece of the jigsaw – and that is George Goddard.

“Goddard remains outstanding and we are continuing our efforts to locate him and I would reiterate my message to him; you cannot stay hidden forever; those who may be helping you cannot help you forever.

“It is in your best interests to come forward.”

Anyone with information on Goddard is asked to call Essex Police on 101 and cite ‘Operation Chamber’.

You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org

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