The mother of gin heir Sir Walter Gilbey told the trial, via a video link, how her son angrily confronted her and dragged her out of her seat during a row.
Lady Elizabeth Gilbey, 95, who shares her home of twenty years with her 86 year-old housekeeper, told the court it was approaching 5.30pm when Sir Walter assaulted her.
“I was sitting on my sofa in my little sitting-room, reading. He came into the room, we had an argument and he came back into the room with a rather menacing look on his face.
“I raised my stick to defend myself and he has mentioned that I hit him, which I never did, I don’t even hit my dog.
“He snatched the stick from me and broke it into five pieces. He grabbed my arm and flung me on the floor and I landed on my face.
“I tried to get up again and he just stood over me. I was so scared I ran into the neighbour’s house for protection.
“The hearing aid was in my ear and when I hit the floor it came out of my ear and shot under the stove.
“I went to my bedroom and barricaded the door with a lot of chairs and went to bed. He pushed the barricade of chairs and came into the bedroom.”
Sir Walter lost Power of Attorney in 2014 and his lawyer Mr. Blandford suggested: “You and your daughter Camilla have put your heads together to ensure he is out of the picture and Camilla has control of the estate.”
He lost POA after an enquiry by the office of Public Guardian and prosecutor Miss Burrows asked: “Is the defendant so incensed that POA was removed he’s gone out of him way to portray his mother as someone losing her memory, losing her marbles.”
Lady Gilbey said it was nothing to do with her daughter and also dismissed her GP’s evidence of a history of falls. “I’ve never fallen. The only falls I’ve had is when he yanked me out of the chair and flung me on the floor.”
She said “hatred’ was too strong a word to describe her son and daughter’s relationship “Maybe dislike. She’s with me know, she’s a very dutiful and beautiful daughter.”
Sir Walter says his mother has struck him with her walking stick, shouting: “You’re ruining my life,” when he took her car keys.
“It is very important for me to be able to drive. I live right out in the country, I have to drive,” said Lady Gilbey, giving evidence via a videolink.
Sir Walter says his mother struck him on August 24 and 26, last year, forcing him to confiscate her walking stick and telling her: “Mum, you’ve got to stop hitting me.”
However, she insists he was the aggressor. “The way he came into the room in such a threatening manner and when I put my stick up he snatched it in such a menacing manner.
‘I landed on my face and missed the metal stove by a matter of inches. That might have killed me.
“I went to my doctor to show him all the bruising because I thought I’d broken my ribs.”
Sir Walter, 68, of Torwood, Stafford Road, Dornoch denies assaulting his mother, while visiting from the Scottish Highlands, at her Pulborough home in Little Paddock, Bury on August 26, last year.