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Published: 08:17, 18 November 2019
| Updated: 08:25, 18 November 2019
A parking row erupted with a bully repeatedly plunging a blade into a driver’s tyre who was forced to lock himself in the car.
David Robertson and his wife pulled into a private car park briefly so she could run into a Turkish restaurant in Herne Bay and book a table.
But tensions had been simmering inside the flats opposite; some residents becoming furious with drivers using their spaces for public use.
When Mr Robertson briefly took a space in Central Parade, Herne Bay and his spouse visited A La Turka next door, Lawrence Gibbons took umbrage.
The raging 52-year-old repeatedly rapped his knuckles on Mr Robertson’s windscreen screaming profanities and demanded that he drove away.
But when Mr Robertson explained he was briefly waiting for his wife Gibbons disappeared inside his flat, soon emerging with a kitchen knife.
Mr Robertson had locked his doors and caught Gibbons’ bizarre behaviour on film, telling him the footage will appear on You’ve Been Framed.
“You lost your temper, you overreacted..."
Gibbons repeatedly stabbed the front driver’s side tyre, hurled more insults, and walked away.
At no point did he threaten Mr Robertson with the blade.
Following his arrest Gibbons gave a no comment police interview and admitted the crime in the magistrate’s court earlier this year.
Initially the Crown sought to prosecute Gibbons on charges of affray, possession of a bladed article in public and another count of criminal damage.
But those charges were dropped on the day of trial at Canterbury Crown Court due to insufficient evidence.
Gibbons was sentenced on one count of criminal damage.
Prosecutor Kieran Brand told the court: “On April 19 at around 2pm David Robertson was sitting in his vehicle in a car park he believed was linked to the restaurant.
“But it is a privately owned car park used by residents of flats where this defendant was a resident.”
The defendant soon came out of his flat and caused a disturbance before returning with the weapon, he added.
Footage played in court showed Gibbons dressed in a grey tracksuit and sunglasses screaming and repeatedly punching the window, before casually returning to his apartment.
Moments later he wandered over and stabbed the tyre twice with Mr Robertson repeatedly shouting: “You are using a knife on me”.
As the video played Gibbons could be heard muttering “stop this (footage) now” from the dock.
The court heard he has previous convictions for actual bodily harm, driving offences and various occasions of causing criminal damage. However he hasn’t been before the courts since 2010.
Edmund Fowler, mitigating, added his client regretted the crime, which, he said, was an “overreaction” to an issue that had “been going on for some time.”
Recorder Matthew McDonagh told Gibbons: “This would have been a far more serious offence if you instead showed more aggression in possession of the knife.
“You lost your temper, you overreacted, and this is aggravated because you used a knife (and) taking it outside your home like that is a very serious matter.”
He ordered Gibbons, who earns £600 a week, to pay £800 compensation and handed him a two-year conditional discharge.
The knife is also to be destroyed.
More by this authorSean Axtell