'Depraved' Doncaster man said 'I've done something so bad I want to die' after being caught sexually abusing five-year-old child
A ‘depraved’ Doncaster man has been jailed for half a decade for the sickening sexual abuse of a five-year-old child.
61-year-old Stephen Gibbs looked down at the floor as Judge Roger Thomas QC sentenced him to five years in prison for two charges of sexual assault, during a video-link hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday.
Prosecutor, Louise Reevell, told the court that Gibbs’ criminality was uncovered on May 31 this year, after a woman walked in on him sexually assaulting a five-year-old child, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Ms Reevell said Gibbs subsequently left the property, and returned to his home in Hilltop Gardens, Denaby Main where he attempted to take an overdose.
Gibbs was reported to the police, and when officers arrived at his property he told them: ‘I’ve done something so bad, I want to die’.
After being asked about the incident, the child told their mother that Gibbs had sexually assaulted them in the same way on a separate occasion some weeks earlier.
In a statement read to the court, the child's mother said the young victim had been significantly affected by Gibbs’ abuse.
She said the child was ‘crying a lot’; was unable to sleep and did not want to leave her side, even to go to school.
Gibbs, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the two counts of sexual assault at an earlier hearing.
Richard Barradale, defending, said: “In my submission, he is genuinely remorseful.”
He asked Judge Thomas to ensure Gibbs was given the one-third credit he is entitled to for his early guilty plea.
As he sent him to prison, Judge Thomas described the sexual abuse carried out by Gibbs as ‘despicable’.
“This must be the sentence of the court for these serious and, frankly, depraved crimes,” said Judge Thomas.
Judge Thomas also placed Gibbs on the sex offenders’ register for life and made him the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, which bans him from contact with any child under the age of 16.