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Neighbour 'stabbed woman 33 times'

Published 15/06/2015

Trevor Gibbon is on trial at the Old Bailey for the murder of his neighbour
Trevor Gibbon is on trial at the Old Bailey for the murder of his neighbour

A defenceless woman was stabbed 33 times in a ferocious attack by the man next door who had become enraged at losing a long-running neighbour dispute and was "out for revenge", a court heard.

Trevor Gibbon, 48, allegedly armed himself with two knives and ambushed Alison Morrison, 45, as she walked to the station on her way to work on December 18 last year.

He carried out the killing the day after he was handed a restraining order having pleaded guilty to harassing Mrs Morrison and her family for years, the Old Bailey trial heard.

As she lay dying in the street near her home, Mrs Morrison repeatedly named her attacker, telling residents who had flocked to help: "Trevor Gibbon did this to me."

Meanwhile, the killer had fled in his Mercedes but was picked up later the same morning 100 miles away in Lincolnshire, saying he was "heading for the coast".

Still with dried blood on his hands, he described himself to police as a "f***ing coward" and said: "It was over a neighbour dispute."

Opening his murder trial, prosecutor Brian O'Neill QC told jurors: "That morning Trevor Gibbon was a very angry man. He may well have felt that Alison Morrison had gotten the better of him and had won their protracted dispute. He may well have felt the need for revenge as a result.

"And so he armed himself with not one but two knives and drove off to wait for her as she made her way to the station.

"He attacked her, intending not merely to cause her really serious injury, but to kill her.

"This was a planned, premeditated attack on an unarmed defenceless woman by an angry man who was out for revenge. This was murder, nothing less."

The dispute dated back to 2011 when Mrs Morrison, her husband Cedric and their teenage son moved next door to Gibbon and his partner in Windsor Crescent, Harrow, north-west London.

Almost immediately, Gibbon complained about the noise from the boy's skateboard but, despite the Morrisons' attempts to placate him, nothing seemed to satisfy him, the jury was told.

By the summer of 2012, Mrs Morrison contacted the local authority for advice, the court heard.

Mr O'Neill said the Morrisons wanted to live in peace with their neighbours but Gibbon seemed to take almost every opportunity to escalate things.

He said: "While the list of individual incidents may sound trivial, their cumulative effect was such that it had a deteriorating effect upon the health and well-being of Mr and Mrs Morrison."

The Morrisons installed CCTV cameras to gather evidence of what they were subjected to on an almost daily basis and Gibbon followed suit, the court heard.

Gibbon and his partner, Maria Perrett, rebuffed repeated attempts by the council and police to broker better relations and in April last year, he was issued with a prevention of harassment letter, which he refused to sign.

Matters came to a head in October last year, when Gibbon followed the Morrisons on their way to work and stopped and stared at them in his car in an "eerie prequel" of what was to come.

After he was charged and bailed, he took an overdose of Paracetamol in an apparent suicide attempt, the jury of 11 women and one man were told.

Initially, Gibbon denied harassing the family between August 1 2012 and October 31 2014 but on the day of his trial he changed his plea.

The next morning, CCTV cameras installed at both homes recorded Gibbon leave his house a few minutes before Mrs Morrison began her usual route to Northolt Park station.

Gibbon then lay in wait in Alexandra Avenue, possibly behind a tree or in an access road, before launching his "ferocious" attack, the court heard.

A resident in the street heard Mrs Morrison scream and cry for help and saw her attacker "slowly" stabbing her with a long bladed knife.

Mrs Morrison managed to wriggle free on the ground but Gibbon continued the onslaught in a "measured, almost clam, calculated" fashion, according to another eye witness who called police.

The defendant ran off and residents tried to help the victim who, despite having difficulty breathing, told them repeatedly who was responsible.

As paramedics told her they were doing everything to save her, Mrs Morrison responded: "You're not, you're going to lose me." She was pronounced dead in hospital later that morning.

A post-mortem examination showed Mrs Morrison suffered from 33 separate stab wounds to her body plus at least seven defensive injuries to her hands.

Gibbon denies murder but has admitted the killing on the basis he was "suffering from an abnormality of mental functioning" which impaired his ability to form rational judgment and exercise self-control.

The trial continues.

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