Mark Cavendish’s glamour model wife says thugs battered cyclist and took watches

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The glamour model wife of Mark Cavendish says armed thugs battered the cyclist in front of their children and took two watches "of great sentiment".

Cavendish had been recovering following a gruesome crash when four intruders broke into the house while the cycling legend, his wife Peta Todd and three children were inside.

Police have since confirmed that the intruders threatened Peta and "violently attacked" Mark at knifepoint when the incident took place last month.

Former page-three model Peta issued the devastating statement on Instagram after their home was broken into, stating that the family were left shaken as a result of the "nightmare" attack.

Todd said: "In the early hours of 27th of November, 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.

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"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 100, quote reference 42/275184/21."

Officers were called at 2.35am on Saturday 27 November after the four men entered the household in the Ongar area of Essex.

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin, who is the senior investigating officer on the case, 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."

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