Brisbane man jailed after helping stuff body of 61 year-old woman in a wheelie bin
Laine Clark |
A man helped his friend dispose of a body in a wheelie bin “like rubbish” before using the victim’s mobile phone to order pizza, a Brisbane court has heard.
In a drug-fuelled week, Robert Louis Gibson, 41, also helped rob a woman and repeatedly raped another in what Justice Sue Brown described as “depraved conduct”.
Kym Mitchell – a 61-year-old who used a mobility scooter – died after being assaulted by Gibson’s mate at a Yeronga unit in suburban Brisbane in November 2018.
Gibson helped dump the victim head-first into a bin, covering the body with garbage.
Gibson and his friend Adam John Charles Evans, 34, then tried to hide the bin at the unit complex, only for it to be discovered six days later after residents complained to police about the smell.
The body was so decomposed by the time it was located, Mr Mitchell could not initially be identified.
“You treated Mr Mitchell with no respect. You cast him aside like rubbish,” Justice Brown said in Brisbane Supreme Court.
Mr Mitchell had visited Evans’ apartment where Gibson was staying before neighbours heard a struggle and someone say “help me I am dying”, crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said.
It was “bin night” so Gibson grabbed one from across the road and helped Evans hide the body, before the pair ordered a pizza on the victim’s phone.
Evans and Gibson tried to clean up the apartment but could not remove all the blood and hid in a nearby unit complex.
Evans – who has pleaded guilty to manslaughter – was eventually arrested on December 2 before Gibson handed himself in a day later.
On the same night of Mr Mitchell’s death but prior to the assault, Gibson had watched Evans rob a woman at a Yeronga train station.
When Gibson saw the woman pulling out her phone he yelled: “You’re a dog, if you call police I am going to come back and bash you”.
Then four days after Mr Mitchell’s death, Gibson repeatedly raped a 21-year-old woman as she tried to walk home from a Runcorn hotel.
“(It) … was depraved conduct. You treated her in a degrading, humiliating way,” Justice Brown said.
Gibson had a criminal history since the age of 18, was a long-term addict and had been “significantly drug affected” during the offences, defence barrister Peter Feeney said.
But Justice Brown said drugs were not an excuse.
“You made choices and they were choices with devastating effects,” she said.
Gibson had pleaded guilty to four counts of rape and one count each of an accessory after manslaughter and robbery in company.
As his father looked on, Gibson was sentenced to eight years prison for rape – with a serious violent offence declaration – and three years for the accessory charge, to be served cumulatively.
He was also handed a concurrent two-year term for the robbery charge.
His period spent in custody since 2018 was declared as time served.
Gibson is eligible for parole in September 2025.
Justice Brown said Gibson was fortunate to have his father’s support, urging him to think about the impact on Mr Mitchell’s daughter who had tried to reconnect with her father, making his death and the body’s disposal “all the more devastating”.AAP