Scottish gin heir has conviction for assaulting mother quashed

The heir to Gilbey's gin has been cleared of assault
The heir to Gilbey's gin has been cleared of assault
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Gin heir Sir Walter Gavin Gilbey has had his conviction for allegedly assaulting his 95-year-old mother quashed.

The 69-year-old expressed “enormous relief” after a judge and two magistrates cleared his name at Hove Crown Court on Friday.

He was only allowed to contact his mother Lady Gilbey with the supervision of a housekeeper or carer after he was convicted of assault in February.

It had been claimed that he had thrown her to the floor and snapped her walking stick at her home in Sussex on 26 August last year, while visiting from his home near Dornoch in the Highlands.

In a statement issued through his lawyers yesterday, the heir to Gilbey’s gin, who uses his middle name Gavin, said: “I would like to express my enormous relief that the Gilbey name has now been cleared.

“After living through a highly stressful 15 months I am really happy that I can now resume the relationship with my loving and frail mother and continue to look after her for the rest of her life.

“I wish to publicly thank Penny, my loving partner for over 20 years, and all of my friends for their steadfast support.”

His solicitor Nigel Richardson, from Hodge Jones and Allen, said: “Sir Gavin has always maintained his innocence of these allegations and we are delighted that his good name has been cleared.

“Sir Gavin has had to endure a living nightmare for the past 15 months and I hope the quashing of his conviction allows him to move on with his life.”

Previously, magistrates sitting at Horsham in Sussex heard Sir Walter dialled 999 immediately after and said his mother had gone “crazy mad” making “wild assertions” to the neighbours.

He claimed the incident was a lie concocted by his sister, Lady Camilla Frederick, over a family feud for control of Lady Gilbey’s estate.

The magistrates found him guilty of one count of assault by beating.

Ms Overington added: “As magistrates we have found this to be a very sad case to hear.”

He was also fined £339, ordered to pay £625 costs, a £33 surcharge and £200 compensation to his mother.

Sir Walter is the fourth Baronet of the Gilbey baronetcy and the title’s seat is Elsenham Hall, Essex.

The title was created in 1893 for the wine merchant, stock-breeder, agriculturalist and philanthropist Walter Gilbey.