Devil-obsessed pair’s mission ends in court

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A man with drug-induced psychosis broke into a flat convinced the occupier was about to be possessed by the devil and warned her partner that he would “die tonight”.

Jamie Gibson, whose mind had been affected by cannabis and legal highs, went round to the flat in Scarborough with a man he regarded as a Christ figure who would help ward off evil spirits.

Gibson, 23, broke down the door to the flat - which belonged to his friend’s mother - and walked into the bedroom, where the woman was sleeping with her partner.

She woke to find her son and his friend at the foot of the bed, chanting: “Stand still. Sin still. Stand still. Burns.”

The drug-addled duo, who believed the mantra would keep the devil at bay, were pointing and shouting as they spoke as if from a script: “We had to break in to get you, and [your husband] is going to die tonight. We have come to save you from the devil.”

The startled husband jumped out of bed to confront the pair, who ran out of the flat. It was then that he discovered the white crosses – lots of them, etched on the living-room floor in what appeared to be chalk or soap. More crosses, arranged in groups of three, were found on the stairwell, the front steps of the block of flats and out the back.

Police arrested Gibson at a house in Hoxton Road, where he had been living temporarily with the man he thought was Jesus Christ. Officers found several white crosses, again in groups of three, which Gibson’s friend had drawn on the pavement outside the house and on the floors and front window inside, with the aim of warding off the devil, York Crown Court heard.

Gibson was charged with trespassing with intent to cause damage to property. His friend was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Gibson admitted he had gone into the flat at his friend’s behest, but only because they thought his mother was in danger. He said it was his friend who had drawn the crosses.

Gibson denied burglary and appeared for trial on Thursday. Prosecutor Louise Harrison said Gibson had barged the door with his shoulder before entering the flat in North Marine Road at about 6am on May 7 last year.

After being arrested, Gibson, of Gladstone Road, told officers he had been “out of control and spaced out on drugs”, but later claimed he had not taken anything.

However, a consultant psychiatrist confirmed he had been suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis.

Gibson said the devil obsession was a “delusion we had when we were on highs”, and that he lied to police about drugs because he thought they worked for the anti-Christ and would kill him if they knew “our secret”. He said they went round to the flat at 6am, just hours after the sixth day of the month, because of the devil’s “666” insignia.

When Ms Harrison asked Gibson why they had not just rung 999 if they thought his friend’s mother was in danger, he said that his devil-obsessed pal was scared of phones because he thought they were spying on him.

Gibson was found not guilty of burglary, as the court could not be certain that he intended to cause damage to the flat.