Two men who carried out a knifepoint robbery at the family home of Mark Cavendish have received lengthy jail sentences.
Ali Sesay, 28, pleaded guilty to the robbery charges and was sentenced to 12 years, as well as an additional eight years for six unrelated firearms offences. Romario Henry, 31, of Lewisham, south east London went to trial, was found guilty of two counts by majority verdict and was today sentenced to 15 years.
At sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, judge David Turner said: "This was planned, targeted, orchestrated, ruthless offending aimed at an internationally known sportsman and his wife who happened to be brand ambassadors for exceptionally valuable Richard Mille watches."
In a statement read to the court during this morning's sentencing hearing, Cavendish said the idea of it happening to anyone else is "horrifying" and the robbery had caused psychological trauma.
Speaking to The Times newspaper this week, Cavendish explained how his recent move to a new team, Astana Qazaqstan, had been delayed by last month's trial.
"The team were super supportive, incredible," he explained. "[Joining them] was delayed because they gave me time. Vino [team boss Alexandr Vinokurov] said, 'Take your time, be with your family if you need to be.' It was a scary time. Even during the trial, a really scary time. It took a huge pressure off that we can deal with that."
During Henry's trial last month the court heard how Cavendish and wife Peta were threatened and attacked during the nighttime robbery of 27 November 2021.
Two Richard Mille watches, valued at £400,000 and £300,000, phones and a Louis Vuitton suitcase were taken during the "well-orchestrated, well-executed, planned invasion".
Jurors heard how the balaclava-wearing robbers had threatened to "stab him [Cavendish] up" in front of his children and a post-court statement released by the couple said the incident was something "no family should ever have to go through".
Sesay, who received a shorter sentence relating to the robbery charges having pleaded guilty, did so after his DNA was found on a phone belonging to Mrs Cavendish that was found by officers, discarded outside the property.
Two other men, George Goddard [below left] and Jo Jobson were named as suspects during the trial but have not been located.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.