The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
18°C | 8°C
15°C | 7°C
17°C | 5°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Thanet News Article
'Weedy' Luke Ware accepted the challenge of a fight with a rival after their mothers fell out during a Facebook feud.
But the cowardly thug – who branded his tough rival a "little girl" – secretly armed himself with a claw hammer to make sure he would win the Thanet showdown.
Now the 24-year-old, of Athelstan Road, Margate, has received an 11-year sentence - still breathing threats to his rival and the judge.
His mother - who had sat in the public gallery at Canterbury Crown Court – left shaking her head, saying: "I don't know what's wrong with that boy!"
Prosecutor Richard Scott had told how the mothers of Ware – described by his own barrister as "a weakling" and "a weed" – and victim Simon Radcliffe had swapped insults via Facebook.
It was then they agreed to a fist fight, but Ware had secretly borrowed the weapon from a friend to give him the edge.
After delivering a number of blows with the hammer – Ware bizarrely halted the attack to applaud his opponent who had skilfully evaded most of them by "ducking and diving".
At his trial, Ware denied wounding with intent – even though he later revealed he knew he was guilty.
Peter Higginson, defending, said: "If one was to use the hammer with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, it is frankly astonishing that there was no grievous bodily harm actually caused.
"These were several blows delivered by someone who is a weed and you can see that he is a weakling. One would have expected serious injury.
"But there wasn't and then he stopped, telling Mr Radcliffe: 'You can take a blow!'
Judge James O'Mahony said although the victim suffered serious head wounds, it would have been much worse "but for the evasive action" he took during the attack.
"This was a case of each person becoming more and more provoked by the behaviour of the other in absurd circumstances and a ludicrous scenario..." - Judge James O'Mahony
Mr Higginson added the reason behind the incident was "an absurd" confrontation on social media.
"There are those of us who don't spend our lives on social media, who find it hard to understand the kind of emotions that can get worked up by people sending words tapped into a machine and going into the ether," said Judge O'Mahony.
"These are words that people would not say face-to-face and this was a case of each person becoming more and more provoked by the behaviour of the other in absurd circumstances and a ludicrous scenario."
He said Ware armed himself "cowardly and dishonestly" to ensure he came off better in the fight.
The judge sent Ware to prison for eight years and added another three years on the licence when he is freed.
He added Ware was still "full of venom" for his victim, who he accused of "acting like a little girl".
As he left the dock to start his long sentence, Ware screamed abuse at the judge.
Click here for more news from Thanet.
Click here for more news from around the county.