‘Hannibal’ Rapist is Jailed for Attacks on Dialysis Unit Staff

A convicted rapist who terrorised hospital staff keeping him alive has been jailed for nine months. But Donald Gibson, dubbed Hannibal Lecter by medical workers, will continue receiving vital kidney dialysis treatment at the hospital where he abused his carers. Gibson, 37, admitted assaulting a male nurse and was found guilty of racially abusing a German security guard while receiving treatment at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday he was sentenced to nine months in prison but it was confirmed he would continue to be cared for at the hospital.

It is understood Gibson was due to attend the ERI shortly after his jail term was confirmed.

Sheriff Gordon Liddle said Gibson’s behaviour was completely unacceptable.He said: ” I would expect most people receiving such treatment would be

grateful and show respect for hospital staff, but you were abusive towards them. I think the public would expect emergency workers to be protected from assaults.

“In fact parliament has recognised that by giving courts special penalties for offences against emergency workers and for racial abuse.”

Gibson, from the Broomhouse area of Edinburgh, has previous convictions for rape, serious assault and robbery.

He has to attend hospital three times a week for life-saving kidney treatment. Staff at the facility took out an anti-social behaviour order against him and dubbed him “Hannibal”. He previously admitted attacking a male nurse by throwing water at him and kicking him, in April.

At another hearing he was also found to have made racially aggravated comments to a German security guard including calling him “Adolf” and suggesting he was in the Hitler Youth.

Nigel Beaumont, defending, claimed Gibson had planned the assault in an attempt to escape media interest in his behaviour at the hospital. He said:

“There was substantial media coverage in the papers at the time of the assault.

“Mr Gibson had spent a large portion of his earlier life in custody and felt he could no longer live in society.”

Mr Beaumont explained his client had since decided he did not want to go back to jail and asked for him to be given a second chance by the court.

However, Sheriff Gordon Liddle insisted he had a duty to impose a custodial sentence in the interests of emergency workers. He said: “You have shown no sympathy or remorse.”

David Bolton, chief operating officer, University Hospitals Division, NHS Lothian, said: ” There are situations where our staff have to provide long-term treatment for chronic, and life-threatening illnesses to difficult patients and it is hugely concerning and disappointing that our staff have to put up with bad behaviour from the very people they are trying to help.

“Access to health care has to be managed in such a way that life-saving treatment is given to such patients while ensuring our staff are protected.

“This sentence sends a welcome message that violence against NHS staff will not be tolerated and that those who indulge in unacceptable behaviour will face the consequences.”