Worcester: The homophobe was spared jail for dying

Dying man Richard Luce, 50, was spared from prison after threatening his neighbors (Image: SWNS)

A man who made homophobic remarks and threatened to shoot his gay neighbor “between the eyes” has escaped jail – because he is dying of cancer.

Richard Luce, 50, told officers he was “burning down” the home when they arrived after a concerned call to police on March 22.

He was arrested and claimed he had access to explosives, but these were apparently not on his Worcester property.

Prosecutor Amiee Parkes said: “Officials asked him if he made the threats and he said he did and had been suicidal since he was four years old.

“He said he hated the neighbors and said, ‘I’m going to blow the house up.’ He said he’d like to shoot them all between the eyes.”

But in court, Luce, representing himself, said he “didn’t say those things,” adding, “I was asked to plead guilty and say I did.”

He admitted to threatening criminal harm but said it was “irrelevant” that he was there.

“I’m going to die of cancer,” Luce told Judge Nicholas Cole. ‘I’ll be dead in a month or two, so it doesn’t matter.’

Luce was then spared more time in prison after the prison asked that he be released on compassionate grounds.

Judge Cole said Luce’s prognosis for metastatic cancer was poor and sentenced him to 16 weeks in prison.

Since he had already served more than half of this in custody, he was released immediately.

The judge said that due to his medical condition, Luce “is unlikely to be able to commit any further criminal acts, particularly of a sexual or violent nature.”

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Justin Scacco

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