Jun 24, 2009
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Briton cleared of attacking French designer Farhi

Jun 24, 2009

LONDON, June 24, 2009 (AFP) - A man was cleared by a court Wednesday 24 June of attacking fashion designer Nicole Farhi during a robbery outside her London home -- but convicted of mugging seven other women.

Nicole Farhi and models backstage at the designer's autumn-winter 2009/2010 catwalk show in London

Farhi was attacked in April last year when she answered the door of the home in upmarket Hampstead, northwest London, which she shares with her playwright husband David Hare.

The French fashionista was strangled until she blacked out and her Rolex watch, ring and money were taken.

The verdict on Matthew Mykoo, 27, was handed down at Wood Green Crown Court in north London. He had admitted two robberies.

His brother Daniel, 28, had earlier admitted robbing Farhi as well as 18 other counts of robbery and two motor vehicle offences.

The pair will be sentenced at a fresh hearing on July 23 and 24 but judge Nicholas Browne warned Matthew Mykoo Wednesday 24 June that a life sentence was likely.

"I warn you in very clear terms that an indeterminate sentence for public protection is virtually inevitable, bearing in mind the numbers and the fact that these robberies were of the most serious type I have ever encountered," Browne told him.

London's Metropolitan Police said the brothers had targeted mainly lone women in affluent areas of London.

"The level of violence used in these attacks is extremely unusual," said Detective Constable Reg Pickering, one of the investigating officers.

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