Killer back behind bars after manhunt

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A KILLER who sparked a manhunt after threatening a stranger with a gun is back behind bars.

Shaun Gibbon pulled a blank-firing handgun from his waistband during a terrifying attack on Darren Pavey, over a damaged car wing mirror.

Police launched an appeal to trace the 43-year-old, who used a curtain cord to kill his girlfriend in 1991, after the incident last October.

He was arrested in December and tried at Newcastle Crown Court last week for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and assault by beating.

Gibbon, pictured, of Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton, denied both charges, but was found guilty by a jury yesterday.

He was cleared of a charge of assault causing bodily harm in relation to a second alleged victim he was accused of biting, during the same incident.

It was on March 15, 1991, Marie Cutcliffe was found dead at the home she shared with Gibbon in Shiney Row.

Gibbon was cleared of her murder, but he was convicted of her manslaughter on the grounds of provocation and sentenced to five years in jail. He served just two years.

Gibbon was back in jail for 18 months in 2006 after waging a campaign of terror against his wife Andrea, who he had met after his release from the manslaughter sentence.

On October 30 last year, Darren Pavey was being driven home through Houghton from a family christening when Gibbon drove past and clipped the wing mirror of the vehicle he was in.

When Mr Pavey challenged Gibbon about the damage, it led to a terrifying confrontation and the production of the handgun.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court: “The defendant tried to punch Mr Pavey in the face but he managed to duck and avoid the punch but then the defendant pulled out a handgun from his waistband.

“Instinctively Mr Pavey was able to knock the defendant’s right arm, causing the gun to fall to the ground.

“The defendant picked up the gun and again Mr Pavey described the defendant’s wrist in an attempt to prevent the gun being aimed at him.”

The court heard Mr Pavey bravely managed to push his attacker to the ground which resulted in the gun falling from his grasp.

Mr Pavey suffered grazes to his knees and face in the struggle.

Jurors rejected Gibbon’s claims he was carrying the gun that day as he was about to sell it and claimed it must have simply fallen out of his pocket and that he had not assaulted Mr Pavey.

Gibbon has been remanded in custody until he is sentenced for the offences next month.

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