News

18 months for horror attack

A CASE in which a woman was locked in a cupboard for several hours as she endured death threats and a physical assault was described by Magistrate David Heilpern as a "scene from a horror movie" in Grafton Local Court yesterday.

Damien Boyd Gibson of Yamba has remained in custody since January 16, the day after what Mr Heilpern described as the "appalling incident".

Gibson was also sentenced yesterday over a separate incident on November 21, 2011, in which Yamba firefighters were beaten up when they tried to defend Gibson's de facto partner from another assault in a Yamba street.

Police facts tendered to court said Gibson was dragging her by the hair in River St, Yamba near the Yamba Fire Station when firefighters heard him say: "get up... or I'll kick you in the teeth".

A firefighter stepped in and separated Gibson from her before Gibson took up a boxing pose and challenged the officer and three other firefighters who had stepped forward, to a "one on one" fight.

Gibson then used his mobile phone to call some relatives to come and support him, police said.

A man and a woman turned up a short time later and Gibson punched one firefighter causing him to fall to the ground where the assault continued with another punch to the face.

Police alleged several other assaults involving the other two people charged over this matter were taking place at this time.

These charges are yet to be finalised.

Gibson turned his attention to another officer whom he punched and wrestled to the ground before another person kicked the officer in the back and the ribs.

Police said Gibson's de facto then punched the officer who had first come to her aid before Gibson then turned on the same officer and "king hit" to the left eye.

Police arrived a short time later and broke up the mayhem before ambulance officers treated the firefighters including one who received eight stitches to his lip.

Less than two months later Gibson put his partner through a psychological and physical tirade for 3 1/2 hours.

The incident began, police said, when Gibson ran out of cigarettes and his partner had no replacements.

Gibson ordered the woman into a wardrobe inside the couple's bedroom, threatening and swearing at her on the way.

He returned some time later and told her that if she needed to go to the toilet she could use a bucket.

"I've got a phone camera set up in the corner so if you go anywhere I'll know about it," Gibson said.

Later, after Gibson apologised and let the victim out, she was sitting with her 15-month-old girl on the bed when Gibson threatened her with a broom handle and gave her two minutes to get him some cigarettes.

"I won't even make it to the bottom of the stairs in 15 seconds," she said.

Gibson then grabbed the woman and "punched her in the head so hard that she nearly vomited and blacked out for a second," police said.

She temporarily lost vision in her right eye, the court heard.

When Gibson again offered her a choice between the cupboard and leaving, the victim grabbed her baby and ran to a Chinese restaurant to seek refuge.

Gibson was seen walking up and down outside the restaurant shouting "you're dead, mother-f---" and making throat slitting motions with his hand.

The magistrate said it was "utterly beyond" his comprehension how the woman would remain in relationship with Gibson, given the seriousness of his crimes.

Gibson was sentenced to a total of 2 1/2 years in jail with a non-parole period of 18 months for both matters yesterday.

He will be eligible for parole on July 13 next year.

Topics:  assault, death threats, grafton local court, torture



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