The fashion designer Nicole Farhi told a court this week how she feared for her life when two men attacked her as she walked to her front door.
She said she had been attacked as she went to open the front door of her home in Hampstead.
She told Wood Green Crown Court in north London, that she thought: “How stupid to die in front of my house.”
Ms Farhi, wife of the playwright Sir David Hare, said that a hand was placed over her eyes while another squeezed her throat, at which point she passed out.
When she came round, she felt a ring being pulled from her finger. She said she saw one of the men was armed with a knife. They spoke French, her native language.
She was giving evidence at the trial of Matthew Mykoo, 27, of Windsor Road, Brent, North London, who denied 16 counts of robbery and one of taking a car without consent. He admitted two counts of robbery last week.
His brother Daniel, 28, of Fulham Court, Fulham, west London, admitted 16 counts of robbery. It was alleged that the brothers carried out 16 robberies together.
Ms Farhi, 62, told the court that she had asked the men to return her watch because it was of sentimental value and had belonged to her father. They left when she began screaming and her husband came out of the house.
The trial continues.