Chester jewel thief fails in sentence cut appeal

Published date: 19 February 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A ‘PROFESSIONAL’ thief who stole jewellery valued at £83,000 from a Royal Mail delivery van has been told by appeal court judges his four-year jail term was not a day too long.

James Gibb, 52, and an accomplice hatched a plot to steal from the van just before it made a delivery to a goldsmiths in Chester in June, 2013, making off with 61 parcels containing the jewellery.

Gibb, of Newton Heath, Manchester, was jailed at Chester Crown Court for four years in September last year after pleading guilty to theft.

Lord Justice Aikens, Mr Justice Griffith Williams and Mr Justice Turner, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, heard his appeal for the sentence to be reduced.

The court heard that Gibb acted as lookout, while his accomplice drilled holes in the side of the van to gain access while bypassing the alarm system, as the driver was making a delivery.

The fact that the van was parked outside Chester Civil Justice centre did not deter the cheeky thieves, and inspection of CCTV footage revealed that Gibb had been staking out the movements of the van in that area over the previous week.

Gibb had been involved in a very similar theft from a Royal Mail van before, Mr Justice Turner said.

He added: “This was a professional and well-planned theft and Gibb had a previous conviction for very similar offending targeting the Royal Mail.

“This offending deserves condign punishment. This sentence, while robust, was not manifestly excessive,” the judge concluded.

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