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Facebook response results in 15-month jail sentence.

A FATHER was attacked in front of his wife and children after a Facebook row.

Robert Sloan got into an argument with Mark Hodge after he "belittled" mutual pal Jill Hutchinson on the site.

But the virtual slanging match turned into a real-life punch-up when Hodge arrived on Mr Sloan's doorstep.

Mr Sloan's ear was almost ripped off in the fight, while his children looked on.

The row started after Ms Hutchinson posted on the site that she had completed a 10km race in one hour and 27 minutes.

Mr Sloan sent the remark "I did it in 38 minutes and 11 seconds - not bad for a fat lad, eh" in response. The comment sparked an angry reply from Hodge, a childhood pal of Ms Hutchinson who had been drinking at her house that day.

During the furious exchange Mr Sloan sent a message to Hodge saying: "Mark, you know where I live, you can bring the pounds 15 what you owe me, if your car will get that far."

As a result, Hodge stormed around to Mr Sloan's home and attacked him, pinning him to the ground and ripping at his ear with his teeth.

Prosecutor James Adkin told the court: "He (Mr Sloan) was sitting watching TV with his family on that evening and did not expect that those remarks would infact prompt the defendant to come around to his house threatening violence but that is exactly what the defendant did."

Hodge of Hepburn Grove, Sunderland, was arrested, and told police he had found the comments towards Miss Hutchinson "belittling and degrading".

He admitted unlawful wounding.

Mr Recorder Richard Woolfall jailed Hodge for 15 months. The judge said: "I accept that the postings of Mr Sloan on Facebook were provocative and had a profound effect upon you. That, however, does not excuse your terrible behaviour thereafter."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 18, 2010
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