Prosecuting, Paul Ricketts had told how Gibbon, 24, of Ashley House, Kingsdown, was caught raiding someone's home in the early hours of last New Year's Eve.And they turned up just in time:
At about 4.20am, the neighbour of the victim called the police after he heard the sound of smashing glass in their Bristol street.
Officers saw Gibbon trying to smash his way out of a ground-floor flat window.Heh!
They told him to stop, but he ran away, straight into the arms of one of the officers.
In police interview, Gibbon said someone had told him the house belonged to a drug dealer and it contained a safe which had £1,500 in cash and some drugs in it.Well, there’s a shocker! Could it be his story was bogus from the start?
Mr Ricketts said the house did have a safe, but it was empty, and the notion that the house belonged to a drug dealer was "completely unfounded".
It’s not like he didn’t have experience at it, after all…
Gibbon, who was supported by a handful of friends in the public gallery, had 24 previous convictions consisting of 49 offences and he had been previously jailed for burglary.Mitigation?
Mitigating, Giles Nelson said: "This is a young man who has been losing the battle with drugs for the last ten years."Really? Sounds to me like he’s holding his own.
He said his client had been honest with the police, the court and the probation service, when they carried out a pre-sentence report.Why did they need to write a new one? Couldn’t they just drag out the one they must have prepared the last 24 times and update it?
Gibbon wrote a remorseful letter to Judge Hagen and said he was determined to change his ways.Oh, yeah. How many times have we seen that before? The shysters must have a damned template for the things…
Judge Hagen said: "I will give you a chance. What you make of that chance is up to you."He’s had all his chances, you cretin!
She imposed a one-year community order, containing six months' drug rehabilitation and regular drug testing, and supervision by probation.Didn’t you read the history? He’s probably got his own file cabinet at the Probation Office!
Judge Hagen reserved his drug treatment reviews and any further court hearings to herself, before warning him: "If you fail to complete these requirements you will be in breach and back you come to be sentenced – and you know the consequences."Yes, I’m sure you’ll be really, really hard on him next time. But then, he probably isn’t going to burgle you, is he?
Visibly nervous, Gibbon admitted to the judge: "It needs to stop. Thank you ever so much for giving me this chance."We’re doomed…
As he walked out of court, he added, "that's brilliant, thank you ever so much your honour," before being reunited with his relieved friends.
* Do I mean recidivists, or judges? Your call.