More details of the horrific attack on the widow of Michael Winner have been released by police, after an appeal went out on BBC’s Crimewatch.
Gerladine Winner was hit with a metal rod, and then repeatedly smashed on the head with a kettle she used to try and defend herself, by a female at her home in Ennismore Gardens, Kensington on October 9. She was left tied up and blindfolded on the floor for three hours.
As well as revealing in detail the trauma Mrs Winner endured, police also released CCTV footage of a woman they wish to speak with in connection with the aggravated burglary, and some of the loot taken.
The attack happened at around 10pm as the 77-year-old was putting out rubbish ahead of a trip to Paris. She was rushed by the assailant who attacked her with a brassy-coloured, bevelled metal bar.
Mrs Winner reached for a kettle to defend herself but the thief took it from her and beat her at least three times around the head with it.
The burglar then cable-tied the victim’s hands and feet and left her blindfolded on the kitchen floor before moving through the house and carefully cherrypicking items to steal. She even returned to Mrs Winner to demand specific pieces of jewellery, and retrieved them from a safe once given the code.
The suspect stole a quantity of jewellery including a heart-shaped diamond pendant, cash - including Euros - and a painting of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice by artist Franz Richard Unterburger. She then left the flat with Mrs Winner tied up and blindfolded on her kitchen floor.
The CCTV footage shows the suspect entering the block of flats just after 7pm, leaving at around 1.15am - some six hours later - and heading towards Kensington High Street .
Mrs Winner sustained serious head wounds and a broken finger as a result of the attack which required hospital treatment. A £10,000 reward is now available for any information leading to the culprit’s identification, arrest and prosecution.
Police believe that the stolen heart-shaped pendant and painting were of particular interest to the thief and would like to appeal for any information about them or their whereabouts.
Detective Chief Inspector Jane Corrigan, from Westminster CID , said: “The suspect was very specific in terms of the items she was looking for and the motive is still being investigated.
“The suspect had clearly planned the attack and may have been in the area days or weeks before. We believe she was wearing a wig at the time of the assault.
“This incident has left Mrs Winner feeling vulnerable in her own home and I need the support of public to solve this case. Someone knows this woman.”
During the break-in Mrs Winner was told she’d be “knifed” if she made any noise. She added: “I was in terrible pain. My back was agony and my shoulder was agony. And I’d broken my finger and I saw my finger was broken.
“All you want is for her to take what she wants and go, just go and leave me alone.”
Her late husband directed films like Death Wish and died in 2013. Mrs Winner said: “Michael would be turning in his grave.”
The suspect is believed to be between 35-40 years-year-old, slim, and around 5ft 7ins. She was wearing a long dark coat, a black wide-brimmed floppy hat and dark trousers and boots. She had strawberry blonde hair, and the victim believed that she had an Eastern European accent.
No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.
Anyone with information is asked to call Westminster CID on 101, the incident room on 0207 321 7680, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via the crimestoppers website .