Gin heir, Sir Walter Gavin Gilbey, has had his conviction for allegedly assaulting his 95-year-old mother dropped.
The 69-year-old was relieved 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 2018.
It had been claimed that he had thrown her to the floor and snapped her walking stick on August 26, 2017 during a fight over their gin business.
He was later charged and found guilty of one count of assault and was given a restraining order and fined $1,197. Gilbey has always maintained that the incident was a lie and was engineered by his sister, Lady (Camilla) Frederick, in order to gain control of Lady Gilbey’s estate.
The aristocrat claims his sister Lady Camilla Frederick convinced his mother to fabricate the attack over a dispute over power of attorney.
He also claims his mother was upset because he had begged her to stop driving due to an eye condition.
The businessman held power of attorney for several years but it was transferred by Lady Gilbey to two lawyers in 2014, Horsham Magistrates’ Court heard.
Sir Walter Gavin Gilbey is the fourth Baronet of the Gilbey Baronetcy. The title was created on 4 September 1893 for the wine-merchant, stock-breeder, agriculturalist and philanthropist Walter Gilbey (1831-1914).
W&A Gilbey Ltd was founded in 1857 by brothers Walter and Albert Gilbey who had recently been discharged from the Crimean War. With an older brother already working in the wine trade, the brothers set up shop, initially focusing on South African wine. After expanding the business and opening branches in Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast (as well as London), the brothers began to diversify after the then Chancellor of the Exchequer William Gladstone reduced duty on French wine.
In 1872, they began distilling Gilbey’s London Dry Gin, later opening distilleries in Australia and Canada.
The brand is now owned by industry giants Diageo.
Gilbey is now able to live normally and visit his frail mother on a regular basis.
For a more in-depth look into the family and Gilbey’s follow this link.
Gilbey baronets, of Elsenham Hall (1893)
- Sir Walter Gilbey, 1st Baronet (1831-1914)
- Sir (Henry) Walter Gilbey, 2nd Baronet (1859-1945)
- Sir (Walter) Derek Gilbey, Baronet (1913-1991)
- Sir (Walter) Gavin Gilbey, Baronet (born 1949)