Man jailed for unprovoked attack on woman carer

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic3.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic3.

A man who attacked his partner while she was looking after an elderly man – just a short time after release from prison for similar offences – was jailed again last Thursday.

James Ashley Gibb appeared before Harrogate magistrates via a video link with Holme House Prison, Stockton-on-Tees – where he had been on remand for three weeks – to plead guilty to assault by beating on Jacqueline Solly.

Prosecutor Bob Nott said 26-year-old Gibb, of Dene Park, Harrogate, had been involved in many domestic violence incidents with Miss Solly before the latest, on May 6, at a house in Albany Avenue where she was working as a carer for Arthur Jackson.

Mr Nott said Gibb had arrived at the house while Miss Solly was putting away some shopping. He verbally abused her before attacking her in the kitchen. She was punched to her head and also kicked.

Mr Jackson, who had witnessed some of the incident, told Gibb to leave or he would use his walking stick on him. After making threats towards the man Gibb left.

When police interviewed Gibb his only response to the allegation had been a prepared statement in which he denied not only the assault but being at the house.

Mr Nott said Gibb had a number of previous convictions including some for violence and had recently served a jail term for other assaults on Miss Solly.

In mitigation Peter Minnikin said Gibb’s recollection of the latest incident was hazy. But he could recall a confrontation in the kitchen during which he lashed out with fist and foot.

Mr Minnikin said Gibb had been blighted by drugs or alcohol for almost all his adult life. After release from his previous prison sentence he had resumed his relationship with Miss Solly and had fallen back into heroin use. But their affair was over and he wanted to seek help for his problems, a move he had begun by starting a methadone programme while on remand.

Jailing Gibb for 18 weeks court chairman Caroline Campbell told him: “We find this assault particularly distressing as not only was it unprovoked, it occurred in a vulnerable person’s home and it is a repeat offence on the same victim not long after you had been released from custody.”

Gibb was also ordered to pay a £150 criminal courts charge, £85 costs, a £80 victim surcharge and £150 compensation.