David Gibbons pleads guilty to being armed with intent outside Waratah Village

Newcastle courthouse.
Newcastle courthouse.

ARMED with a 38 centimetre knife, dressed in a hooded jumper and wearing gloves, convicted armed robber David Gibbons told the police who arrested him outside Waratah Village in December that he was waiting for a fight.

But given his lengthy criminal history – which included a tendency to use kitchen knives to rob business owners – and the fact his clothing seemed ill-considered for a balmy summer night, police were inclined to think he was up to his old tricks.

“Look I’ve done nothing wrong,” Gibbons said as he was being arrested.

“I’m waiting for a bloke who my mrs is cheating with.

“I thought he’d be here.

“Yeah I had a knife but he had a baseball bat last time.

“Look, I was there for that guy.

“I was going to towel him up, stomp on his head and everything.”

He was later charged with a number of serious offences, including being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, namely armed robbery.

But it appears prosecutors are now inclined to believe Gibbons’s story. 

Before he pleaded guilty to the charge, the DPP amended it to remove the words “armed robbery” and replace it with “assault”. 

Gibbons, who remains in custody at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, had his matter mentioned in Newcastle District Court on Thursday.

He will be sentenced in the same court on November 3. 

Gibbons was only four months removed from serving a four-and-a-half year jail term for committing five armed robberies in three weeks when he was arrested outside Waratah Village in December.

Initially sentenced to a maximum of five-and-a-half years for robbing the five Coalfield’s businesses during January, 2012, that sentence was increased to a maximum of seven years once Gibbons appeared before the Court of Criminal Appeal

That meant he was on parole when a member of the public spotted him behaving suspiciously about 9.40pm on December 13 and called the police. 

Gibbons had got out of a vehicle that was parked behind the Waratah Village and paced up and down outside an ATM and a bottle shop before he was arrested.