Police hunt Wearside killer after gun alert

Missing man Shaun Gibbon. Below, Marie Cutliffe, the woman he was convicted of killing in 1991.

Missing man Shaun Gibbon. Below, Marie Cutliffe, the woman he was convicted of killing in 1991.

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POLICE are hunting a convicted killer after he went missing from his home following a gun-related incident.

Detectives are appealing for help to trace Shaun Gibbons after he disappeared last weekend,

Marie Cutliffe

Marie Cutliffe

Officers believe the 42-year-old, who used a curtain cord to kill his partner at their Shiney Row home in 1991, may be able to help them with their inquiries after witnesses reported seeing a man carrying a gun in the Newbottle Street area of Houghton at around 4.30pm last Sunday.

Following a search of the area, a replica handgun was later recovered from the scene. Neighbours say there has been heavy police activity in the surrounding streets over recent days.

It was on March 15, 1991, that Marie Cutliffe, 20, was found dead at the home she shared with Gibbon in Oxford Terrace, Shiney Row. She had been choked with a curtain cord.

At the time, a court cleared Gibbon of murder, but convicted him of the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation. He was sentenced to five years in jail.

He served just two years and, in 2006, was back behind bars after waging a campaign of terror against wife, Andrea, who he had met following his release.

Newcastle Crown Court was told that during a two-month campaign of stalking and bullying between September and November 2005, Andrea lived in fear of Gibbon.

He went on to admit putting a person in fear of violence by harassment and was jailed for 18 months with an extended licence period of two years.

Police today said they were becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of Gibbon since he went missing from his home in Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton. They do not believe he poses a danger to other members of the public.

Gibbon is described as 5ft 11 tall and of stocky build.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Officers want to speak to him in connection with an incident outside a business in Houghton on Sunday.”

Anyone with any information should contact Northumbria Police on 03456 043 043 ex 69191.