Man jailed for attacking unfaithful wife
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 27 May 2009
A mild-mannered grandfather was today jailed for attacking his wife after learning of her 30-year affair with his best man.
Brian Gibbs, 63, pushed wife Catherine, 55, down the stairs and stabbed her in the neck with a pair of hairdressing scissors in a "moment of madness".
Mrs Gibbs, a martial arts instructor, had told him two days earlier that she was leaving him for his former best friend Ron Mynott, who was also married.
His worst fears came true when she revealed they had been seeing each other behind his back on and off for the best part of their 35-year marriage.
Mr Mynott had been best man at the wedding in 1973.
Gibbs at first kept a lid on his emotional turmoil and he and his wife began to make "civilised" arrangements to divide up their home and belongings.
But at around 6am on 12 November last year, after letting the dog out and making his wife a cup of tea, he finally snapped and attacked her.
Gibbs, a self-employed builder of South Drive, Banstead, Surrey, admitted wounding with intent and was jailed for four-and-a-half years at the Old Bailey.
Judge Peter Thornton told him: "This attack, however inexplicable in its ferocity, did have an explanation.
"Your anger and your jealousy at her infidelity and your fear of losing her no doubt caused acute stress for you and led you to committing this offence.
"You are normally a quiet, non-violent, hard-working family man. This is a sad case and you acted completely out of character."
Gibbs, who wiped tears from his eyes during the hearing, was supported by family members in the public gallery but his wife was not there. The court heard that the couple had two grown-up sons together.
Richard Atchley, defending, said Mr Mynott had since left her - but that Gibbs's reaction was "to feel sorry for her".
"He is basically an amicable, gentle man," Mr Atchley said.
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