January 26 2015
– A retired policeman says he is “glad” his grandson has been jailed for cutting off his finger in a botched burglary.
Barry Sibley, 82, was thrown down the stairs and stabbed when Jack Sibley, 21, and a friend broke into his home wearing balaclavas.
The pensioner has revealed for the first time how his callous grandson visited him in hospital just days after the brutal attack.
The thug was later arrested by police investigating the crime and has now been jailed for 19 years.
Grandfather-of-six Barry told the Mirror: “Jack visited me in hospital with his family.
“He didn’t say a word to me – he just sat at the bottom of my bed and didn’t say a word.
“At that time I didn’t know it was him so it came as a surprise when police told me.
“That was very callous. He was trying to prove he was innocent by visiting me in hospital.
“I’m glad he’s going to jail for a long time – at least I should be able to sleep safely.
“I expected him to get a smaller sentence so I’m quite satisfied.”
Barry, who served with the police for 27 years, woke in the early hours of May 13 last year after hearing noises in his home.
When he walked out of his bedroom he was jumped by Sibley and accomplice Warren Reid, 22.
The pair threw him headfirst down the stairs before grabbing a souvenir Gurkha’s knife owned by Barry.
They then sliced off the middle finger of his left hand and left his ring finger hanging by a thread.
The dad-of-two was also stabbed in the chest and suffered a fractured skull. Sibley and Reid fled the house in Cheshunt, Herts., leaving him for dead in a pool of blood.
Detectives investigating the brutal attack discovered that two days earlier the pair had made a surprise visit to Barry’s home.
They then found text messages revealing Sibley and Reid wanted to steal the OAP’s £4,000 life savings from a safe.
They used a spare key to break-in and planned on visiting a strip club with the money.
Sibley and Reid were found guilty of robbing Barry and causing him grievous bodily harm following a trial in December.
Sibley, of Stevenage, Herts, was jailed for 19 years at St Albans crown court on Friday while Reid, of Luton, Beds, received 19 years and 9 months.
During their trial the two men blamed each other for inflicting the violence on the pensioner.
But Judge Stephen Gullick told them they were “equally criminally responsible” for the “ferocious and sickening attack”.
Before he was sentenced, the court heard Sibley had written a letter from prison saying he now wanted to “make it up” to his granddad and win back his trust.
But divorcee Barry said: “I have had no contact with him and he hasn’t apologised.
“Apparently Jack sent a letter to the judge saying how sorry he was but I didn’t receive anything.
“I haven’t forgiven him. They left me for dead.”
Sibley’s mum Lorraine, 48, who is Barry’s daughter-in-law, lied to police about cuts on her son’s hand.
She claimed he fell onto some glass when the wounds were really sustained during the knife attack.
Lorraine was convicted of doing an act intended to pervert the course of public justice and jailed for 12 months alongside her son.
The court heard Lorraine’s 23-year marriage to Barry’s son Alan has now come to an end and she also lost her job as a teaching assistant.
Judge Gullick said: “No doubt you were motivated by the love and concern of a mother for him.”
Barry added: “The family is in turmoil, it’s ripped us apart. But Jack’s younger brother and most of his family are all on my side.
“I’m recovering okay but last year was really difficult. Hopefully things will settle down now.”
Speaking after sentencing, Detective Sergeant Jon Leak said: “At the time of the offence, Mr Sibley had no idea who the two offenders were and was shocked to learn of their identity.
“Of all my years in policing, this case has been particularly shocking. Not only because of the pre-planning that Sibley did to burgle his own grandfather, but also the sheer viciousness of the attack on his own family member and leaving him for dead.
“I am pleased with these convictions and the sentences reflect the gravity of the men’s actions that day.
“He has been left with life changing injuries but more importantly, the psychological trauma of the events will stay with him for life.”
– Louie Smith