Jail for Northampton 'bully' who tormented man online before tracking him down and breaking his jaw

Luke Franklin.
Luke Franklin.

A Northampton "bully" who threatened a man online before finding him in his local and breaking his jaw has been jailed.

Luke Franklin, from Euston Road, punched his victim twice in the face and left him with life-changing injuries that affect him to his day.

But Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (August 24) how the attack was the climax of a campaign of bullying against the victim, who Franklin accused online of paedophilia and promised he would "smash his face in".

In 2015 - in an unrelated case - an e-fit was released by police of a man wanted for raping a teenager.

But the court heard how Franklin shared that e-fit on his Facebook page and accused his bullying victim of being a paedophile.

It was the beginning of a campaign of cyberbullying against the victim who "became depressed and socially isolated" as a result.

Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking said: "In a telephone call, [the victim] asked you to take the images down. But you mocked him and continued to torment him further... and threatened to 'smash his face in'."

Franklin followed through on his threats months later, when he travelled 10 miles from his home address to track down the victim while he was at a Halloween party at his local pub and punched him twice in the face.

As a result, the victim suffered a fractured jaw in three places and needed emergency surgery. To this day, he is now in constant pain and must hold his jaw when he eats. His tongue was also partially paralysed and he suffers severe social anxiety.

The court heard how during his trial Franklin tried to convince the jury his victim attacked him first.

Judge Lucking said: "This was a cynical and confident lie. You have shown no remorse for what you have done. The consequences for him have been life-changing.

"This all was an act of physical bullying on top of a campaign of internet bullying."

Franklin - who has previous conviction for breaking another man's jaw in 2012 - was jailed for 30 months.