Internet pioneer Cliff Stanford yesterday went on trial at Southwark Crown Court on charges of unlawfully intercepting emails at his former company, Redbus Interhouse, according to reports.
Cliff Stanford is a well-known figure in the internet industry. He founded Demon Internet in 1992 and sold it in 1998 to Scottish Telecom for £66m (Scottish Telecom subsequently re-branded as Thus), netting Stanford around £30m.
Allegations surfaced in October 2003 that Stanford had been involved in hacking the email system of Redbus. He and another man, George Nelson Liddell, were questioned by police over the interception of emails between Redbus's former chairman, John Porter, and Porter's mother, the former Westminster council leader, Dame Shirley Porter.
Both men were charged with offences under the Computer Misuse Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) of 2000. They deny the charges.
The case, which went to trial yesterday, is expected to take two weeks.