Harrogate man jailed after threatening to burn ex-partner's home down

James Gibb (s)
James Gibb (s)

A Harrogate man has been jailed after threatening to burn down his ex-partner’s home and harassing her despite being slapped with a restraining order.

James Gibb, 27, had been banned from contacting or approaching the woman after assaulting her in October 2015.

But on May 17 he threatened to torch her flat and put bricks through her window, York Crown Court heard.

Gibb, who was as “high as a kite” on drugs, went round to her home in Albany Avenue and hurled bricks at the house but missed and smashed a neighbour’s window.

Prosecutor Felicity Hemlin said the terrified woman fled to the back of her flat to dodge the missiles as Gibb was “shouting and screaming” vile insults at her.

Police were called and Gibb was arrested. He was charged with criminal damage and harassment in breach of a restraining order. He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Friday, July 8, via video link.

Ms Hemlin said that Gibb, of Dene Park, had been in a “toxic”, on-off relationship with the victim for four years.

“In October 2015 he committed a serious assault against her and was given a jail sentence and restraining order,” added Ms Hemlin.

“Despite this, he went round to her home shortly after being released from prison and persuaded her to let him in, but became so aggressive “she felt she couldn’t breathe”, added Ms Hemlin.

Gibb was asked to leave by the victim’s friend but later returned with the rock missiles.

Ms Hemlin said the whole incident lasted five hours and caused the victim “significant” psychological harm.

Defence barrister Rehana Popal said Gibb had been a heroin user since the age of 14, had a drink problem and was on medication for a personality disorder.

Jailing him for 20 months, Recorder Andrew Stubbs QC told Gibb: “You have told the Probation Service you have no intention of staying away from (the victim).

“You know the terrible effect your attacks have had upon her and what she has been driven to do because of her despair and depression. She fears she will lose her house and her job as a result.”