Man denies phone linked to Mark Cavendish robbery is his

The only link between a man on trial accused of taking part in a knife robbery at the home of Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and the crime “is the phone he denies is his”, a court heard.

Prosecutor Edward Renvoize said a balaclava-clad gang armed with large knives threatened Mr Cavendish and his wife Peta Cavendish and “forced Mark Cavendish to make him comply with their demands”.

Mr Renvoize said the raiders took two high-value Richard Mille watches, worth a total of £700,000, in the raid at around 2.30am. on November 27, 2021, while the couple's children were at home.

It said two people have “so far been convicted of their involvement in the offences” at the athlete and his wife's home in Ongar, Essex.

The only link to this offense and the accused is the phone which he denies is his. There is no direct evidence that he had this phone

Defense barrister Piers Mostyn

Another man, Jo Jobson, denies two counts of robbery and is on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The 27-year-old, of no fixed address, is said to have taken a watch, two phones and a safe from Mark Cavendish and a watch, phone and suitcase from Peta Cavendish.

Piers Mostyn, for Jobson, said in his closing defense speech on Friday: “The only link to this offense and the defendant is the phone which he denies is his.

“There is no direct evidence that he had this phone.”

Prosecutors said photographs of Joe Jobson were released by police as far back as January 2022 showing he was a suspect and he handed himself in at Chelmsford police station on June 5, 2023.

Mr Mostyn said: “A criminal on the run wouldn't just walk into a police station like that.

“He felt able to present himself for this reason.”

He said “the idea that he would have known he was wanted doesn't stack up.”

“He had turned up and given himself up,” Mr Mostyn said.

He told the jury: “My submission to you is the correct and correct verdict is not guilty.”

Mr Paxton told the trial earlier that one of the intruders took Ms Cavendish's mobile phone and it was later found outside their property, which he said was a “significant error in an otherwise carefully executed plan”.

He said DNA recovered from the phone was attributed to Ali Sesay and police subsequently “located a phone attributed to Mr. Sesay.”

“From communication data from this phone belonging to Mr Sesay, police were able to identify a number of other phone numbers that appear to be involved in the offence.”

He said such a mobile phone number “has been attributed” to Jobson.

Judge Timothy Walker, in his summing up to jurors, said it was “acceptable that whoever was in possession of the … telephone participated in the robbery”.

“It is questionable whether he was in possession of that phone on the night in question,” he said.

The judge sent the jury to begin deliberations shortly after 1pm on Friday. The trial continues.