MICHAEL Winner’s widow was tied up and battered with a kettle during a robbery carried out of by the film director’s ex-lover, a court has heard.
Geraldine Winner was robbed of at least £100,000 worth of jewellery, art and cash during the raid on her central London flat.
The film director, pictured with Geraldine, died in 2013 aged 77 and Geuorgoieva expected to benefit from his will, the court heard[/caption]
The 81-year-old suffered serious head injuries and a broken finger during the three-hour ordeal at her Knightsbridge home.
Gurgana Gueorguieva, 48, admitted one count of robbery of a dwelling in July this year, but claimed that the injuries were accidental and denied taking €20,000 during the incident.
But prosecutors did not accept the basis of the plea from Gueorguieva, a personal trainer who lives in Russell Road, Holland Park so the case came to trial.
Mr Winner, who made more than 30 films including the blockbuster Death Wish series, died aged 77 in January 2013.
Gueorguieva said she had been in a relationship with Mr Winner between 1999 and 2002 and “disliked” Mrs Winner.
The court heard Mrs Winner was restrained with cable-ties, blindfolded and repeatedly hit after she was attacked while taking the rubbish out, shortly after 10pm during the October 2015 robbery.
Mrs Winner said she was hit between three or four times with the kettle and was later stood on, to stop her from screaming as someone went past her door.
“I was pushed back into my flat and my face was put into the counter and I was held down,” Mrs Winner told the court.
“I was told some gibberish I didn’t understand, and I said I didn’t understand, and the person said ‘your sons have sent me to kill you’, she said they wished to inherit.”
The court heard Mrs Winner repeatedly told Gueorguieva she was in pain during the ordeal, but received no response.
Mrs Winner three large deep cuts to her head, a broken finger and rib, as well as bruising and swelling from being restrained.
Prosecutor Mark Gadsden said the injuries couldn’t have been the result of an argument.
‘HIT WITH KETTLE’
The robbery was executed after two years of “meticulous” planning, which involved repeated trips to Mrs Winner’s home.
Mrs Winner did not know Gueorguieva, who was seen on CCTV wearing a wig for the attack.
Patrick Dennis, defending, said: “She was in a relationship with Michael Winner which finished in 2002 or thereabouts and she remained relatively close to him.
“When Michael Winner sadly died around 2013, she came to understand that she would be receiving something from his will.
“She felt that Geraldine Winner had caused that will to be altered which led to the background of this offence.”
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All but six pieces of jewellery were recovered, as well as a painting taken from its frame.
However, family photographs and €20,000 which Mrs Winner said she had withdrawn for a trip to Paris to visit her sons the next day, were not recovered.
Gueorguieva was caught after trying to sell a watch taken from Mrs Winner’s home to an undercover police officer. The hearing continues.
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