THE GRIEVING boyfriend of a murder victim was today jailed for three years for dousing his lover’s killer with petrol and trying to set him on fire.
Sheriff Stephen Arthurson said Allister Gibb had planned to avenge Samantha Wright’s murder and shown a “complete lack of remorse” for his actions, which resulted in two custody officers being soaked with petrol.
The judge said the offence was so serious that he had even considered ordering Gibb, 33, to be sentenced at the High Court.
Edinburgh Sheriff Courtheard how Gibb repeatedly carried a bottle of petrol through security at the court throughout the three week murder trial of Robert Chalmers.Chalmers, 59, managed to lure Samantha Wright to his home in the Duddingston area of the city in June 2008.
He killed her and then partially dismembered her before dumping the remains in a wheelie bin the garden of his home.
In May this year, NHS worker Gibb threw petrol from a 500ml bottle of juice over Chalmers as he was being led away from court to serve a 23 years sentence.
Gibb admitted attacking Chalmers in the city’sSt Giles Street, lunging at the killer in a bid to set his clothing alight.
The grieving boyfriend alsp admitted endangering the lives of Reliance officers Alan Simpson and Kevin McDonagh, who were soaked in petrol as a result of the attack.
After the revenge attack, Chalmers said he felt sorry for Gibb. But Sheriff Arthurson today told Gibb: “In my view the offence is so serious that I have considered making a remit to the High Court for sentence.
“I have regard to the Reliance officers and to the location of the offence. I also note your complete lack of remorse for the main complainer and the element of planning involved.”
Gibb had shown a “disregard for the welfare” of members of the public, added the sheriff. Defence agent David Storrie told the court that throughout the trial of Chalmers, Gibb, who was a witness, managed to smuggle the bottle through security.
He added: “He advises that he did have a 500ml bottle. He had throughout the case, every day, gone through security and emptied the contents of his pocket.
“He advises this bottle had clear liquid in it and he did not tell the security what was in the bottle, but he wasn’t asked. But he was in the building with the bottle.”
The court heard that fuel landed Chalmer’s clothing, mainly on his shoulder, his arm and his leg.
Reliance officer Mr Simpson was left with petrol between his left shoulder and his neck and petrol landed on the trouser of Mr McDonagh. Gibb then managed to squeeze past Mr McDonagh.
“Using a cigarette lighter he tried to set fire to Mr Chalmers’ clothing,” said fiscal depute Ian Wallace.
“He was unsuccessful and was pushed out of the van,” he said. He then threw the bottle away and then left the scene, said Mr Wallace.
Mr Storrie said Gibb was “promptly pushed” from the Reliance van. “Having watched the footage, which was on both STV and BBC, I can advise it was over in a matter of seconds.
“He thereafter walked away. It’s advised that he did not scarper and try to avoid capture and did not cover his face and try to disguise himself.”
Mr Storrie said Gibb stood outside the public house Deacon Brodie’s with his “arms outstretched effectively waiting to be handcuffed”.
The court heard that Gibb still had feelings of hatred towards Chalmers.
Mr Storrie added: “He does not hide the fact that he has ongoing feelings of hate and anger towards Mr Chalmers.
“The anger and hatred towards the victim, as well as the desire for revenge dominated his thinking and behaviour.
“He’s quoted as being ‘annoyed’ at putting the Reliance officers in danger.”
Mr Storrie added: “One would hope Mr Gill and Mr Chalmers will never be in a position to allow their paths to cross again.”
The defence agent said Chalmers gave a statement to police after Gibb was arrested for the offence. “Robert Chalmers said in his statement, which was taken immediately after this that ‘This incident should have made me mad, but I feel sorry for him’.”
When Gibb was arrested he said “I didn’t mean to injure anyone else, except Robert Chalmers” and he apologised to Reliance officers for what happened.
Neither Chalmers nor the Reliance officers were injured in the attack and were simply able to wash off the petrol.
Chalmers was out on licence for a murder he committed in 1974 when he met Samantha Wright inEdinburghcity centre.