LONDON (Reuters Life!) - French-born fashion designer Nicole Farhi recounted on Tuesday the moment she was choked with such force that she lost consciousness during a knifepoint mugging outside her home.
Farhi, 62, said she was attacked by two men shortly after returning to her home in Highgate, north London, late one night in April last year.
The robbers, one of whom she said was carrying a small penknife, took a diamond ring and a Rolex watch that had belonged to her father, the Press Association reported.
"One hand came on to my eyes, the other on to my throat, he squeezed and I fainted," the designer told Wood Green Crown Court. "My last thought was how stupid to die in front of my house."
Farhi was giving evidence at the trial of Matthew Mykoo, 27, who is accused of wielding a knife while his brother Daniel forced his arm around her throat.
"I asked for my watch back because it had sentimental value. I started speaking louder and louder and they said 'Let's go' because I was speaking too loud," she said.
"They fled and my husband at that moment opened the door."
Mykoo denies 16 counts of robbery and a charge of taking a car without consent.
Last week he admitted a further two counts while his 28-year-old brother has admitted 16 counts of robbery.
In May last year, Fahri was made a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for her services to the fashion industry. She is married to the playwright David Hare.
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison