Man jailed after threatening police in standoff

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A man who claimed to be acting as a “peacemaker” had a standoff with cops after his wife reported him for holding her prisoner.

Gareth Gibb refused to open the door for police and brandished a metal pole and a garden trowel at them as they tried to break into his home to make sure his wife Evelyn was safe.

For several hours he repeatedly swore at police and shouted at them: “The first person in here is getting it!”

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Jim Robertson, prosecuting, told Livingston Sheriff Court that the situation arose after Evelyn Gibb got a phone call from her now deceased son Zac saying he’d had a dispute with a local resident at the accused’s West Lothian home.

He said Gibb and his wife got a lift from Falkirk to Gibb’s house in Mooreland Gardens, Addiewell, to try to resolve the dispute between their son and the other man.

He went on: “There was a disagreement and a right good-going row which resulted in the police attending.

“Officers were concerned regarding the safety of Evelyn Gibb. They wanted into the house to ensure her safety and this was refused by the accused.

“He was hostile towards the officer and was abusive towards them. Authorisation was given to police to force entry and they started to hit the bottom panel of the door.”

Mr Robertson said Gibb repeatedly threatened the police with violence as they tried to gain entry.

He added: “As the hole was getting bigger the accused could be seen brandishing a metal pole and I believe a trowel in his other hand.

“After a period of a couple of hours the matter was resolved. The persons came out of the house and were arrested, but this was a lengthy incident.”

Gibb (47), a prisoner at Addiewell, pled guilty on indictment to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards police and brandishing a metal pole and a garden implement at them.

His not guilty plea to abducting his wife Evelyn and detain her against her will at his home in Mooreland Gardens, Addiewell during the incident on November 12 last year was accepted by the prosecution.

Gerry Bann, defending, said it was a real irony that his client had ended up as the villain of the piece.

He said: “This started out with him seeking to act as the peacemaker, in fact the protector, on behalf of his son Zac who is now deceased.

“The Gibb family have been through the tragedy of that son being laid to rest while he was in prison.

“He had the heartbreak of lowering his son into the ground with an officer shackled to him. It was a terrible experience for the whole family.”

Mr Bann claimed Gibb had been seeking to protect his partner Evelyn, who – like the accused and their son Zac – was drunk and “not thinking straight”.

He went on: “She was intending to go walking on her own in the dark to another son’s house three or four miles away. There was some upset and things spiralled out of control.

“The issue which was matter of conflict was resolved. He was able to ensure Zac was in no further danger but that didn’t seem to calm Zak.

“Zac was high, agitated and aggressive, and he started pacing about the house, pumping his fists, banging on walls and doors and calling his mother names.

“She said: ‘I couldn’t cope with it. It was making me feel unwell, making me scared and I wanted to go.’

“She tried to get taxi but couldn’t and said she was walking to her other soon Aaron’s house in Fauldhouse which would have meant walking dark roads at two or three in the morning on her own.

“There was bickering as to whether she would go or not and she eventually phoned the police and said: ‘I want to get out of the house.”

“The police came to house and at that point there was loss of judgement by Mr Gibb. Drunk as he was he said ‘I’m not going along with the police. I’ve done nothing wrong here.’

“He should have allowed her to leave the house and of course he should have remained calm.”

Mr Bann admitted that Gibb had a “lamentable” criminal record but said he’d had an intractable alcohol problem which caused him to be a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character – reasonable and likeable when sober but the opposite character in drink.

Jailing Gibb for seven months, Sheriff Martin Edington told him: “You have an awful schedule of previous convictions. Again, it seems, drink has played a major part in this.

“I don’t agree this is more like a crime at summary level given your previous convictions and the very protracted nature of this offence

“I’m very sorry to hear about your son. Nevertheless I’ve come to the conclusion that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.” He backdated the prison sentence to 13 November last year.