Michael Winner’s widow ‘tied up during Knightsbridge robbery’

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PA Media

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Michael and Geraldine Winner married in 2011. He died in January 2013

The widow of film director Michael Winner has told a court she struggled to breathe after being tied up by a woman during a violent robbery.

Geraldine Winner, 81, was robbed of at least £100,000 worth of jewellery, art and cash during the raid at her Knightsbridge home on 9 October 2015, Southwark Crown Court has heard.

She suffered head injuries and a broken finger during the three-hour ordeal.

In July, Gurgana Gueorguieva admitted one count of robbery.

However, the 48-year-old claimed the injuries suffered by Mrs Winner were accidental, and a hearing is being held after prosecutors said they did not accept the basis of her plea.

The court heard Mrs Winner was restrained with cable-ties and repeatedly hit after she was attacked while taking the rubbish out.

‘Heart-shaped diamond’

Mrs Winner said: “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.

“I think I was pushed to the ground, I don’t know, then I tried to grab my kettle and hit her with it.

“She asked me ‘where’s the heart-shaped diamond?’, so I told her where the safe was. I would have done anything just to get rid of her.”

Mrs Winner said she was hit between three or four times with the kettle.

The court heard the former dancer repeatedly told Gueorguieva she was in pain during the robbery.

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She said: “When she first pushed me to the floor I said ‘I can’t breathe’, which didn’t seem to bother her.

“As she left, she said ‘don’t ring the police, otherwise you’ll have to look over your shoulder for the rest of your life’.”

Gueorguieva fled the scene without removing the restraints from Mrs Winner, who managed to free herself using a pair of scissors, the court heard.

Prosecutor Mark Gadsden said Mrs Winner’s injuries “could not have simply have come about by way of accidental contact or inadvertent contact”.

The hearing continues.

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