Chat room knife attacker jailed

The attacker who took a knife to the throat of his chat room feud opponent has been jailed. Paul Gibbons, 47, from south London admitted the 2005 attack.

The incident was the culmination of a months-long internet chat room feud. Gibbons and John Jones had conducted an abusive fight on a chat room dedicated to discussion of Islam and Jones had said that Gibbons had been "interfering with children", the court heard.

That caused Gibbons to find out where Jones lived and to drive 70 miles to Essex, with a friend, armed with a pick axe and a machete. They found Jones armed with a knife, which Gibbons took off him.

Gibbons held the knife to Jones's throat and 'scratched' him across the neck. Gibbons had previously threatened to track Jones down and beat him severely.

Gibbons has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail after admitting unlawful wounding on the first day of his Old Bailey trial. He was also charged with attempted murder and issuing threats to kill four other chat room users.

Those charges were not pursued but could be looked at a later date should Gibbons re-offend.

Jones had posted enough information about himself online for Gibbons to find out where he lived. "Mr Jones had posted pictures of his family on the web and had chatted to Gibbons on an audio link," said Detective Sergeant Jean-Marc Bazzoni of Essex police. "It demonstrates how easily other users can put two and two together, and also shows how children could also find themselves in danger."