Latter-Day Robin Hood Jailed On Burglary Charges
LONDON (AP) _ Saying the public must be protected from Robin Hoods, a judge has sentenced a 70-year-old grandfather to 31/2 -years in jail for carrying out burglaries to finance beach trips for deprived children and elderly couples.
Edward Gibbs was described by Old Bailey criminal court Judge Jack Abdela as a latter-day Robin Hood, the English bandit and folk hero of the Middle Ages who stole from the rich to give to the poor.
″It is no use even in this day and age being a Robin Hood,″ the judge said before passing sentence Monday. ″Members of the public have got to be protected from Robin Hoods.
″You were loved by many people but were not putting your hand into your own pocket,″ said Abdela, who noted Gibbs’ long criminal record for previous offenses.
Gibbs, who was treasurer of a youth club in a poor southeast London district, pleaded guilty to stealing tools valued at $317,500 from service stations throughout London.
Prosecutor Dorian Lovell-Pank said Gibbs carried out 178 burglaries in an 18-month period, including 11 in one night.
Abdela said he had dramatically reduced Gibbs’ prison term because of his good works in sending children and pensioners on day trips to Brighton, a popular resort on England’s south coast.
The silver-haired, bespectacled Gibbs told the court he had been deprived as a child ″and hated seeing others going the same way. I saw children and old folk who have got nothing. It was not for my benefit.″