Man charged with robbery after Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish attacked

Man, 30, is charged with robbery after Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and model wife Peta Todd were attacked at knifepoint and robbed in their home

  • Romario Henry, 30, was arrested after robbery at home of Mark Cavendish
  • The top athlete and his model wife Peta were set upon by four armed thugs
  • Essex Police said that it had been a planned attack at his house in the Ongar area
  • A man has been charged with robbery by police investigating the break-in at the home of Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish.

    Romario Henry, 30, from Lewisham, south east London, was arrested after Cavendish, 36, and his model wife Peta Todd were set upon by four armed men in a raid at their house in Ongar, Essex, at around 2.35am on November 27.

    The 30-year-old is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today charged with two counts of robbery.

    Two 27-year-old men – one from Gillingham and one from Camberwell – were also arrested last week and have been released on bail until January 12, Essex Police said.   

    Four armed men broke into the home of Mark Cavendish and Peta Todd (pictured in London in 2016) at around 2.35am on November 27

    Four armed men broke into the home of Mark Cavendish and Peta Todd (pictured in London in 2016) at around 2.35am on November 27

    Last month Essex Police released CCTV images of people captured on camera fleeing the scene

    Last month Essex Police released CCTV images of people captured on camera fleeing the scene 

    Last month, the athlete and his wife were set upon by armed thugs in a planned raid at their house.

    Their children watched in terror as their parents were attacked and threatened and were left ‘incredibly shaken’ by the incident.

    None of the family sustained serious injuries but the burglars made off with a Louis Vuitton suitcase and two high-value watches.

    The attack came just six days after Cavendish suffered two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in a horrific crash in Belgium. 

    Speaking at the time Mr Cavendish said: ‘As I’m sure you will understand, this incident has left our family extremely distressed – not just myself and Peta but our children as well, who feared for their lives and are now struggling with the after-effects.

    ‘No one should have to experience the sort of violence and threats made against us, let alone this happening in a family home – a place where everyone should feel safe.

    ‘The items taken are simply material goods and our priority at the moment is to make sure we all recover from the incident as a family, and we know this is likely to take some time.

    ‘We would like to place on record our thanks to Essex Police for a really quick response and the professionalism and the focus they are clearly putting into the investigation.’

    Cavendish suffered a collapsed lung and two broken ribs in his crash during the Ghent Six Day track event on November 21.

    The athlete, who was racing in the Madison with Deceuninck Quick-Step team-mate Iljo Keisse, saw world champion Lasse Norman Hansen crash in front of him.

    He rode into the Dane’s bike before he was put on a stretcher and taken to Ghent University Hospital, where he spent a night in intensive care.    

    In a separate statement on Twitter, Cavendish wrote: ‘In the early hours of November 27, while recovering at our Essex family home shortly after leaving intensive care, four masked and armed men forced their way in to our home as we slept, threatened my wife and children and violently attacked me. 

    ‘At knifepoint, they proceeded to ransack our belongings.

    Two watches were stolen from the property (pictured is one of the watches that was stolen) last month

    Two watches were stolen from the property (pictured is one of the watches that was stolen) last month

    The athlete said far worse to be taken was the 'sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that my young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home'. Pictured: Another of the watches that was stolen

    The athlete said far worse to be taken was the ‘sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that my young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home’. Pictured: Another of the watches that was stolen

    The Olympic cyclist wrote about the attack on his Instagram story and asked anyone with information to contact the police

    The Olympic cyclist wrote about the attack on his Instagram story and asked anyone with information to contact the police

    CCTV images were released by Essex Police as part of their investigations

    CCTV images were released by Essex Police as part of their investigations

    ‘Amongst what was taken were two watches of great sentiment and value. But far, far worse to be taken was the sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that my young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home.

    ‘The effect that this nightmare has had on my family is already heart-breakingly evident, so I beg anybody who may be able to help us with information to call 101, quoting reference 42/275184/21. Thank you.’

    Former model Peta Todd said she and husband Mark Cavendish were sleeping when the burglars entered their home during the ‘nightmare’ incident.

    She wrote on Twitter: ‘In the early hours of November 27, at our Essex family home where my husband Mark was recovering shortly after leaving intensive care, four masked and armed men forced their way into our home as we slept.

    ‘They threatened myself and our children and violently attacked Mark. At knifepoint, they proceeded to ransack our belongings.

    ‘Amongst what was taken were two watches of great sentiment and value. But far, far worse to be taken was the sense of security, safety, privacy and dignity that our young family and everybody else is entitled to in their own home. 

    Cavendish was one of several riders to crash in the final race of the Ghent Six Day track event

    Cavendish was one of several riders to crash in the final race of the Ghent Six Day track event

    The athlete was put on a stretcher and taken to Ghent University Hospital, where he spent a night in intensive care

    The athlete was put on a stretcher and taken to Ghent University Hospital, where he spent a night in intensive care

    The Tour de France cyclist had been recovering form a horror crash earlier in the year

    The Tour de France cyclist had been recovering form a horror crash earlier in the year

    Cavendish is pictured with his wife Peta and his children during the Natourcriterium Roeselare cycling race in July 2021 in Roeselare

    Cavendish is pictured with his wife Peta and his children during the Natourcriterium Roeselare cycling race in July 2021 in Roeselare

    ‘The effect that this nightmare has had on our family is already heart-breakingly evident, so we beg anybody who may be able to help us with information to call 101, quoting reference 42/275184/21. Thank you.’  

    Speaking at the time Detective Inspector Tony Atkin said: ‘This was undoubtedly a targeted incident at the home of a celebrated British Olympian, who at the time was recovering from significant injuries resulting from a crash whilst competing, which was well publicised.

    ‘Our investigation is moving along at pace and we are following a number of lines of inquiry as we seek to catch those responsible.

    ‘Mr Cavendish and his wife were assaulted and threatened in their own home, in the presence of their young children, who witnessed these events.

    ‘Thankfully, they are recovering, but the traumatic effect will be long standing.

    ‘Today, we are releasing images of the people captured on CCTV fleeing the scene and we would urge anyone who recognises them to get in contact with us immediately.

    ‘We are also releasing images of the suitcase and two watches which were stolen during the incident.

    ‘It is likely the people who stole these items are attempting to offload them for sizeable sums of money and I would urge anyone who is being offered these items to please get in touch with us – they are stolen property.

    ‘If you have been offered these items, please contact us immediately. We know an incident such as this will naturally cause a lot of concern within the community.

    ‘There will continue to be a visible policing presence in the area as our investigations progress in the coming days.’