A man accused of robbing Mark Cavendish at the elite cyclist’s home said he had lent his phone to a man who has already admitted the same offence.
Two watches worth £700,000 were taken in a knifepoint raid in Ongar in Essex on 27 November 2021.
Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, of Camberwell in south London, told his trial he had not been in Ongar and he had lent his phone out at the time.
He denies two counts of robbery, along with another defendant.
The trial has heard that the Tour de France and Olympic cyclist had been been in bed with his wife and three-year-old child and had a knife held to his throat after they were woken by the raid at about 02:35 GMT.
Mr Okorosobo, of Flaxman Road, is standing trial at Chelmsford Crown Court alongside Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, Lewisham, south-east London, who has also pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
They are accused of robbing the Isle of Man-born cyclist of a Richard Mille watch, a phone and a safe, and of robbing his wife of a watch, a phone and a Louis Vuitton suitcase.
A fourth and fifth suspect, Jo Jobson and George Goddard, were named as suspects by police and remained at large.
Mr Okorosobo said he had given his phone to Ali Sesay, 28, of Holding Street, Rainham, Kent, who had admitted two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing.
Mr Okorosobo said Sesay, who had been living with him in Croydon in south London, was with him and Mr Henry in a Mercedes car being driven by a man who he referred to only as “Steve”.
Mr Okorosobo said he was dropped off at his mother’s home in Camberwell so he could be with his younger brother, who had suffered a seizure, while his mother was at work.
“Mr Sesay said the memory on his phone was full and he didn’t have a navigation app on his phone,” he said.
“The reason why he [Sesay] asked to borrow my phone was to get his son – for the navigation system on my phone.”
Mr Okorosobo told jurors that calls were made from his phone to Mr Jobson at about 00:40 on 27 November, while the phone was located in the area of his mother’s address, and they were made so they could discuss cryptocurrency.
The defendant’s barrister Shahid Rashid said: “We know over the next few hours your phone was pinging off cell masts in the Ongar area.”
Mr Okorosobo said: “At no point was I present at the Cavendish premises.”
He said he had his phone “back in my hand” by about 04:40.
Mr Rashid told the court there were two calls from Mr Okorosobo’s then-girlfriend.
He did not answer the first call as the phone was not with him, but that he answered the second call minutes later at 04:36.
“Ali Sesay had knocked on my door as the phone was ringing,” Mr Okorosobo told the court.
“He said she had called earlier and he told her to ring back.”
‘Needed a PIN’
He said that in the car, as he went to get a lift back to Croydon, were Mr Henry, Sesay, Sesay’s “five-year-old son” and Steve.
He said he did not know anything about events in Ongar.
Mr Okorosobo added that he “did ask [Sesay] why he had taken so long – he said he made a brief trip to get something prior to getting his son”.
Mr Henry’s defence counsel Archangelo Power suggested to Mr Okorosobo that the Mercedes had an inbuilt navigation system, and asked if he thought it “strange” that Sesay was asking to borrow his phone.
Mr Okorosobo said that the car’s navigation system “needed a PIN” and Steve “didn’t have it”.
He previously told the court he was stabbed in the leg in September 2021, and he still had his left leg in a brace and his left arm in a sling as he gave evidence.
The court heard that in a prepared statement to police at the time of his arrest in December 2021, Mr Okorosobo said he was “unable to do any” of the alleged offences, and that “any human could see I’m incapable of doing this”.
The trial continues.