A THUG who battered a disabled pensioner and robbed him of a £5 note from a christening card has been caged for four and half years.
Career criminal David Gibbon was described as a danger to the public by a judge at Teesside Crown Court after he heard how the 28-year-old had targeted his 72-year-old victim in an early morning attack.
The victim, who was on his way to post a christening card containing a £5 note as a gift from him and his wife, told police in interview that he thought the attack was going to “finish me off”.
Gibbon has 25 convictions for 59 offences on his record, and has already served a four-year sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent.
Gibbon started his attack at around 5.50am on June 29 in the Kingsley Avenue area of Hartlepool.
Swigging a bottle of wine he had stolen from a shop moments earlier, Gibbon asked his victim for the time before punching the vulnerable pensioner in the head as he looked at his watch.
Further punches followed, with the victim being knocked to the pavement befoe being repeatedly kicked in the head.
Gibbon searched the man’s pockets for money and he stole the card.
The attack came to an end when neighbour Beverley Fowler heard noises in the street and banged on the window before going out in her dressing gown and ordering Gibbon to stop.
She also took a picture of the thug on her mobile phone to help police identify the man’s attacker.
Prosecutor Jenny Haig said: “Each kick appeared to connect with the back of the man’s head, and he was curled up in a foetal position .
“She banged on her window to make the man stop, which he did.”
The court heard Beverly Fowler rang for an ambulance and the police, and stayed with the distressed pensioner holding his hand until they arrived.
Miss Haig added: “She said that she felt physically sick at the level of violence on a man who was not hitting back.
“The man told police ‘I thought my head was going to be kicked off, I was frightened he was going to finish me off’.”
Gibbon was aggressive and without remorse when the police interviewed him.
He said: “Well excuse me for beating an old man up”.
Paul Cleasby, defending, said that Gibbon wanted to seek help to tackle his violent behaviour.
His only mitigation was that he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
After describing Gibbon as “a danger to the public”, Recorder Paul Camp added: “Fortunately for you, a brave young woman Beverley Fowler rushed out in her dressing gown and intervened.
“She describes a vicious attack. When the police arrived on the scene this young woman was still holding the victim’s hand. An ambulance took him to hospital.”
Gibbon of Kinbrace Road, Hartlepool, was jailed for four years for robbery and six months consecutively for theft of the wine.
Eight years ago, Gibbon - who was subject to an ASBO at the time - was jailed for four years after leaving a mentally disabled man for dead after repeatedly kicking him in the head as he lay unconscious on his doorstep
Gibbon’s victim, a 29-year old man who had been left mentally disabled following a motorbike accident, needed brain surgery and spent five months in hospital following the attack.