A would-be robber who stabbed a man in the back following a dispute in a Gillingham pub has been jailed for six years.
In March 2020, without any provocation, James Gibson took exception to a man having a meal with his family and assaulted him with a knife when he attempted to go outside for a cigarette. An hour earlier, he had threatened a shop keeper with the same weapon in a bid to rob the store of cash after he failed to win money from a scratch card.
The 23-year-old, of no fixed address, admitted wounding with intent, attempted robbery and possessing a bladed article. He was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 10 September 2020.
On the evening of 8 March Gibson was drinking in the bar area of the Honourable Pilot, in Will Adams Way, with Jamie Rustage, 29, of Beatty Avenue, Gillingham. At around 7.15pm, Rustage gestured for the victim to come over after they were seen heading to the smoking area. The victim said he did not want any trouble and he was trying to enjoy a meal with his family.
The victim was then followed to the foyer, where Rustage threw several punches. During a struggle, Gibson stabbed the victim in the back. He was taken to a London hospital for treatment and has since made a full recovery. Rustage pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm and was sentenced at the same court hearing to four months’ imprisonment.
About an hour before the assault, Gibson had bought several scratch cards from a shop in Forge Lane, Gillingham. He initially won a small quantity of cash, which he used to buy more scratch cards. When Gibson failed to win more money he demanded the shop keeper open his till. The shop keeper refused, which prompted the offender to show a knife he had concealed in his waistband. He eventually left empty handed, but briefly returned a short time later to ask for permission to use the shop worker’s phone charger. The request was denied.
Detective Constable Rebecca Howlett, from the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘Gibson is clearly a violent individual who presents an unacceptable risk to innocent members of the public. It is only down to good fortune that the victim of the stabbing did not sustain a more serious injury and I am pleased that we have secured justice for him and the shop keeper.’