Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WINNER'S WIDOW: I THOUGHT I'D DIE IN RAID; TERRIFYING STRUGGLE WITH WOMAN BURGLAR IN PS4M FLAT; WINNER'S WIDOW TELLS HOW SHE GRABBED KETTLE IN BID TO FIGHT OFF INTRUDER; 'It's like One of Michael's Films but, Although Tempting, I Don't Want a Vigilante to Go after Her'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WINNER'S WIDOW: I THOUGHT I'D DIE IN RAID; TERRIFYING STRUGGLE WITH WOMAN BURGLAR IN PS4M FLAT; WINNER'S WIDOW TELLS HOW SHE GRABBED KETTLE IN BID TO FIGHT OFF INTRUDER; 'It's like One of Michael's Films but, Although Tempting, I Don't Want a Vigilante to Go after Her'

Article excerpt

Byline: John Dunne exclusive

THE widow of film director Michael Winner told today how she desperately fought for her life when she was attacked with a crowbar by a woman who broke into her PS4 million home.

Geraldine Winner, 77, said she had feared she was going to die, and used a kettle to try to hit the robber, who invaded her Knightsbridge apartment.

She was wrestled to the floor, tied up and blindfolded. She suffered a broken finger and cracked rib, and needed 20 stitches for a head wound.

Mrs Winner -- who married the director in 2011 after a 54-year relationship -- said: "The woman told me she was going to knife me, to kill me. In my head I was saying my goodbyes. I thought I was going to die.

"She came in though my back door as I was putting my rubbish out. I tried to fight her off, which I now realise was not a good idea.

"I grabbed her hair and realised she was wearing a wig, which came off in my hand. I then grabbed my kettle and hit her but she overpowered me and hit me back with it.

"There was blood everywhere. I was on the floor and she put her foot on my back. She ordered me to tell her where the jewellery and money was.

"I was terrified. She put a blindfold on me and tied me up with plastic wire."

During the attack late last Friday night she was forced to hand over cash and possessions, including treasured photos of her husband pictured with a string of VIPs, including the Queen.

Her engagement ring and a photograph of her wedding day were also plundered, as well as PS500 in cash. The robber was in the flat for more than two hours.

After the intruder fled Mrs Winner managed to free herself and raise the alarm, covered in blood and dazed.

"I am supposed to be in the safest place in London. I cannot believe this has happened," she said. "I have a whole wall with pictures of Michael with famous people and she took loads of them. …

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