Brothers jailed for couple's 'barbaric' robbery

Two brothers who attacked and robbed a couple in their 70s in their own home have been jailed.

John and Mark Gibbons, from Heckmondwike, broke into the couple's house in Malton, North Yorkshire, in October.

York Crown Court heard the attack lasted half an hour, during which the pair threatened to kill their victims, before they made off with cash, jewellery and the couple’s mobile phones.

The brothers had used "barbaric levels of aggression" against the man and woman, North Yorkshire Police said.

At York Crown Court on Monday, Mark Gibbons, 44, who had pleaded guilty to robbery, was sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison.

Meanwhile, John Gibbons, 38, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years after pleading not guilty to robbery but being found guilty by a jury.

Ransacked property

Earlier, the jury had been told that two months before the attack, the couple had hired John Gibbons as a gardener.

He did some "poor quality work" at the couple's rural home and they found him strange, so they paid the £3,500 bill to get rid of him, the court was told.

However, he returned to the address with his brother on 21 October 2023 and they both smashed their way through the front door.

The pair then immediately demanded money from the man and woman before beating them.

Police said the male victim was pinned to the floor by his neck, while the offenders threatened to maim the woman using a cheese grater and scissors.

They victims were both left with severe facial injuries after being punched in the head.

The brothers then ransacked the property and fled, but were caught by police 36 hours later.

The trial jury heard that when Mark Gibbons was arrested, he was found to be wearing a personalised ring belonging to a deceased relative of one of his victims.

After the pair were sentenced, Det Con Nicholas Burton, who led the investigation, said: “To call this attack horrific is an understatement.

"The Gibbonses used barbaric levels of aggression against a totally innocent couple," he said.

People would be "quite rightly sickened" by the brothers' behaviour, Det Con Burton added.

Detectives praised the victims' bravery throughout their ordeal and the subsequent court process.

Det Con Burton said: "After all they've been subjected to, their courage to the very end has been admirable.

"It has helped convict two very violent defendants who were described in court as cowardly thugs and are now starting long prison sentences."

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