A court heard that Detectives failed to locate two suspects wanted in connection with a knife robbery at the home of Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish.
Two men, who denied two robbery allegations related to the raid in the Ongar area of Essex in the early hours of 27 November 2021, are on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
A third man admitted to stealing twice at an earlier hearing and will be punished at a later date, but officers have not been able to locate a fourth and fifth person named suspects.
Prosecutor Edward Renvoize said intruders with masks and knives broke into Cavendish’s home while Cavendish was sleeping upstairs, again in bed with his wife Peta and their three-year-old child.
He said Cavendish was punched and one of the raiders threatened to stab him before the gang escaped with items, including two Richard Mille watches worth £400,000 and £300,000.
He said Peta Cavendish’s phone was taken during the raid and later found outside the property.
Mr Renvoize said 28-year-old Ali Sesay, from Holding Street, Rainham, East London, who pleaded guilty to two robberies at an earlier hearing, “managed to leave his DNA on Peta Cavendish’s phone”.
“The police began investigating the conversations with Mr. Sesay’s phone and the prosecution said it was possible to identify people who had contacted Mr. Sesay from there,” he said.
“And with further investigation, it became clear where these phones attributed to other individuals were, where they went and where they returned.”
Detective Officer Brian Eagling, who was in charge of the case, agrees with Mr. Renvoize that Jo Jobson and George Goddard were identified from their contact data.
Mr Eagling said it was not possible to locate Jobson and Goddard and acknowledged that the investigations into finding them were “sensitive” and would not disclose details about it publicly.
Mr Renvoize said Jobson and Goddard were “two persons who were not on the scene, called suspects”.
He told jurors: “Even though they weren’t caught by the police, the prosecution says it’s pretty clear from the evidence that they were involved, but of course you’re not being asked to return the verdict against them.”
Romario Henry, 31, from Bell Green, Lewisham, southeast London, and Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, from Flaxman Road, Camberwell, south London, plead not guilty to two robbery charges and stand trial.
They are accused of stealing Cavendish from the watch, phone and safe, and stealing the athlete’s wife from the watch, phone and suitcase.
Mr Renvoize said Okorosobo was arrested with Sesay at an address in Croydon on 16 December 2021.
The prosecutor, Okorosobo told police that he “didn’t know anything about the robbery, he never went to the scene, and he couldn’t commit the crime because he had a leg injury.”
“He said he didn’t have his phone with him and that he had to pay to get it back,” Renvoize said.
“It did not extend the information it provided through a written explanation.”
The lawyer said that Henry was arrested on December 18, 2021 and refused to answer questions from the police.
Mr. Renvoize said a Mercedes Benz and a Mitsubishi Outlander were used on the day the crime was committed.
He said automatic license plate recognition data showed Mercedes was traveling from Croydon to Little End in Essex and that “Mercedes was traveling in a convoy with a Mitsubishi Outlander.”
He said he copied Mitsubishi’s license plates.
“There seems to be at least one (phone) number attributed to someone unidentified,” he said.
Noting that the question of why two vehicles were used may remain unanswered, Renvoize said, “Was it too many people to cause the gang to buy more than one vehicle?”
He said police found a “shoe print” from the scene and shoes from the address in Croydon where Okorosobo and Sesay were arrested.
“The shoes in question were found in the upstairs bedroom where Mr Sesay was sitting,” said Mr Renvoize.
“The forensic scientist found moderate support for the view that the shoe was responsible for some of the impressions made at the crime scene.”
He said a DNA sample was taken from the arm of Mr. Cavendish, which one of the attackers was holding, giving it a “mixed profile”.
Mr Renvoize said the “overwhelming implication” of the findings was that “George Goddard was one of the people who broke into the property and touched Mark Cavendish”.
The trial continues.