Lakenheath man accused of historic sex offences will not give evidence in his defence

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A Lakenheath man on trial for historic sex offences will not be called to give evidence in his defence, a court has heard.

Brian Gibbs, 46, of Wingfield Road, has denied 24 charges of indecent assault or gross indecency.

The charges relate to six boys and were allegedly committed between January 1990 and December 1997.

Gibbs has also denied seven charges of making indecent images of children in Lakenheath in September 2013.

The decision not to call on him to give evidence follows a psychologist’s report which said he had ‘borderline intellectual ability’ and would require simplistic questioning.

In mitigation, Diana Pigot read a clinical psychologist’s assessment of Gibbs to the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.

It said: “The profile suggests someone of low average to borderline intellectual ability who had generally low average comprehension and average perceptual reasoning ability.”

The expert added that Gibbs had a history of educational difficulties with associated outbursts of frustrated aggression and inability to cope with everyday demands.

“I believe there’s a possibility that the defendant suffers from a developmental syndrome,” it said.

The psychologist concluded that Gibbs was fit to stand trial and to give evidence but said questions would have to be put in a simple way.

Gibbs’s adoptive father, Michael Gibbs, was the only defence witness to be called.

He said Gibbs was disruptive at school because of learning difficulties and did not really have friends.

He is also epileptic and has Type 2 diabetes.

Michael Gibbs said he was not surprised his son mixed with younger boys in his early 20s because he was not on the same level as adults.

But he refuted suggestions the boys would party at the family home when he and his wife were away and said he never noticed any of his alcohol collection was missing.

He said he was not aware of what his son used to do during the day or of him having driven boys around.

Prosecuting, Paul Jarvis said Gibbs was in his 20s when he befriended a number of younger boys for his ‘teenage entourage’ and took advantage of their youth and immaturity ‘to satisfy his own sexual desires’.

Gibbs, who lived then in Ashdon Road, Saffron Walden, with his adoptive parents, was arrested in September 2013.

The jury is expected to be sent out later this week.