George Gibbs sued The Sun after the newspaper published claims in 2011 that he was abusing and grooming young boys. Now, three years later, Gibbs has been sentenced to life in jail because it turns out those allegations were true.
In 2011, The Sun reported that Gibbs, who had connections to Liverpool's music and sports scene according to The Liverpool Echo, had gone to Thailand to prey on young boys. Gibbs sued the paper and won 70 thousand pounds in damages. The paper was also forced to print a retraction which (while probably read more like a sorry-not-sorry than anything else:
"We wrongly reported that George Gibbs was deported from Thailand for child sex offences as part of an international investigation. We sincerely apologise to him for this error and the distress caused."
Last week, Judge Denis Watson sentenced Gibbs to life in jail for the same offenses that The Sun had accused him of. Gibbs' victims, who still suffer guilt and shame over what happened, stated that Gibbs had raped them, drugged them and even forced one of them to perform sex acts at gunpoint when the boy refused his advances. The Liverpool Echo reports that one of Gibbs' victims still suffers night terrors stemming from the rape. Gibbs claimed to have been set up by the police but then admitted to almost all of the the crimes he had been accused of.
Judge Watson said this to Gibbs during sentencing:
Outwardly you could be charming, generous and sociable, yet beneath this facade there was and still is a much darker, sinister selfish and dangerous side to you. That is that you were and still are a manipulative, predatory paedophile. This was prolonged, repeated, predatory sexual conduct where you groomed and corrupted a number of young men by drink, drugs and force. These were wicked offences which have resulted in life scarring experiences for all concerned.
He also accused Gibbs of taking pleasure in his victims' accounts of the horrors that Gibbs had visited upon them:
You have shown no remorse at all and I am entirely satisfied that you took selfish pleasure in witnesses retelling the sexual humiliation they suffered at your hands. There is it seems no limit to your wish to manipulate and control and to your selfishness.
Gibbs will have to serve a minimum of eleven years in prison before he is eligible to be considered for parole. The police have issued a statement reminding the public that any and all complaints brought forth by victims of sexual assault will be taken seriously and should be reported.
Image Via The Liverpool Echo