Marco Pierre White son's hangover could see mother cleared of assault
The estranged wife of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White could be cleared of assault because son Marco Jr is "too hungover" to give evidence against her, a court has heard.
Matilde White, who is separated from their father and known by her maiden name Conejero, is accused of attacking her adult sons, Luciano and Marco Jr.
She allegedly "burst her way" into Marco Jr's flat in Chiswick, west London, and told him: "You're a f****** loser junkie - you're going to prison."
White apparently then kicked Marco Jr repeatedly in the groin before dragging him along by his hair.
When Luciano tried to separate them she allegedly lashed out at him and bit him on the arm.
Both Luciano and Marco Jr, key witnesses in the case, failed to attend Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.
The prosecution are now reviewing the case to see if there is enough evidence to proceed with the trial without the two alleged victims.
Officers were initially unable to make contact with either of the brothers because both were not answering their phones.
Marco Jr later told police he was "too hungover" to give evidence after apparently going out partying on Monday night.
Prosecutor Katie Weiss said: "An officer went to the address, Marco Pierre White Jr wasn't there. Friends at the property said he had a gone to a party last night and he was in Hampshire.
"Officers spoke to him on the phone and he said he is too hungover to come today. He said he is ill."
Police have been unable to make contact with Luciano, the court was told.
District Judge Deborah Wright issued witness summons for Luciano and Marco Jr on Tuesday but refused to adjourn the trial after they still failed to turn up.
"Luciano is not at home nor contactable, his phone is switched off," she said.
"I am advised that Marco went to a party last night and is too ill to attend court today, probably because of a hangover.
"In both cases the witnesses were aware of their obligation to attend court today and they haven't done so."
White arrived at the court at 9am and spoke only to confirm her details in the dock before the case was adjourned until Tuesday afternoon.
The 51-year-old, of Chiswick High Road, west London, is charged with two counts of common assault by beating.
She denies the charges and claims she was acting in self-defence during the incident on September 20 last year.
Michael Smith, defending, branded Marco Jr "utterly outrageous" for his attitude to the criminal justice system.
The 21-year-old sparked controversy during his recent appearance on Big Brother after romping with former fellow housemate Laura Carter.
He had apparently been given a "hall pass" by fiancee at the time, Kim Melville-Smith, which allowed him to cheat on her during his time on the show.
But after his on-screen sexual encounter, she angrily tweeted that it did not mean an "open relationship" and the pair have since split up.
Marco Jr, the first evictee of this year's show, was engaged to commodity broker Jessyca Hydleman until March 2016.