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A British court revealed chilling details of the knifepoint robbery of Mark Cavendish and his family in 2021.
A trial began this week in the home-intrusion case, and prosecutors said star sprinter Cavendish and his family were held at knifepoint as intruders stole a pair of Richard Mille watches valued at £400,000 and £300,000 (about $800,000), according to the BBC.
“[It was a] well-orchestrated and well-executed planned invasion of the home of a well-known individual with the intention of grabbing high-value timepieces,” said prosecutor Edward Renvoize, in the opening day of a trial.
“It’s quite clear the assailants were interested in obtaining watches, and once they got the watches they left the premises with very little else.”
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Cavendish and his family were unhurt in the incident in November 2021 but were traumatized by the home invasion about 25 miles northwest of London.
Prosecutors told jurors that one of the masked intruders threatened to stab Cavendish in front of his children, the BBC reported overnight.
The 37-year-old and his wife Peta were in bed with one of their young children when they were awoken by noise, Renvoize said in opening arguments at the Chelmsford Crown Court.
“[One intruder] produced a knife and threatened to stab him up in front of his children,” he said. “At this point, there were three in the room and they began asking where the watches were.”
Two defendants on trial deny the charges of two counts of robbery, BBC reported.
Prosecutors said the “robbers were armed with large knives,” and “had concealed their identity with balaclavas”
Police later found the abandoned phone of Cavendish’s wife, and were able to trace evidence from that phone back to one of the intruders via fingerprints and DNA samples.
The trial could last a week or more.
Cavendish, who shares the record for stage wins at the Tour de France at 34 with Eddy Merckx, has not commented on the trial.
The trial also begins as Cavendish is waiting to define his racing future. There are strong links to a possible move to Astana-Qazaqstan, but so far there is not any official confirmation.