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Man beaten with a pickaxe handle in Britain's first 'web-rage' attack


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Man beaten with a pickaxe handle in Britain's first 'web-rage' attack


Last updated at 13:33pm on 17th October 2006


Police today warned internet users to guard their identities after a man was convicted of Britain's first "web-rage" attack.

Paul Gibbons, 47, turned up at the home of John Jones, 43, after they exchanged insults on the internet, the Old Bailey heard.

He traced his address after Mr Jones, a father of three children, put personal details about himself online.

Gibbons, a man with a violent past, traced them to their home in Clacton, Essex, and arrived at the door with a pickaxe handle and with another man carrying a machete.

Ibitayo Adebayo, prosecuting, told the court Mr Jones had opened the door holding a knife for protection.

He said: "There was a scuffle on the landing between this defendant and the victim. The victim ended up on the floor and was beaten with the pickaxe handle."

Gibbons had taken the knife away from Mr Jones and was attacking him with it as Mr Jones tried to fight him off, he said.

Gibbons told him: "Jones, if you carry on, I will f******* kill you," the court heard.

He fled after blood started trickling down Mr Jones's face and his partner emerged from the bathroom and called for help.

Mr Adebayo said doctors later found Mr Jones had cuts to his head, neck and hands. One cut was near the jugular vein.

After Gibbons was arrested, he was found to have boasted about what he was going to do in a chatroom to another user. One message read: "It went perfectly to plan."

Gibbons, of Southwark, south London, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was remanded in custody for sentencing on November 7.

A charge of the attempted murder of Mr Jones in December last year, and four charges of on-line threats to kill four other chatroom users, were left to lie on file.

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