UK man convicted in first Web rage case

A man has been found guilty of the UK’s first ‘Web rage’ attack, after tracking down and attacking a man who insulted him on the Internet.

After an argument in chat room, including allegations of paedophilia, Paul Gibbons traced John Jones to his home in Essex where he turned up with a pickaxe handle and accompanied by another as-yet-unnamed man carrying a machete.

Gibbons beat Jones, then cut him across his throat, narrowly missing his jugular vein. He fled when Jones’ partner called for help.

Gibbons later boasted about the attack to another chat room user.

Jones had used his real name when online and Gibbons traced him using electoral records. Sergeant Jean-Marc Bazzoni of the Essex Police, who led the investigation, warned chatroom users never to provide personal information.

‘It was easy for Gibbons to track the victims down because he built up a picture of personal details they had let slip,’ he said.

Gibbons, who has a number of previous convictions for violence and weapons offences, was remanded in custody for sentencing next month.

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