Suspended sentence for bank IT worker who hacked his boss's webcam because he didn't get a payrise

Savage judge condemns crim's behaviour as 'utterly stupid'


An Essex IT worker has walked free from court after screwing with the British Business Bank's systems in revenge for not getting a payrise.

Service desk analyst Ashley Crispin, of Wickford Place, Basildon, quit his job at the state-owned economic development bank established by UK.gov, after growing frustrated that he hadn't received a raise he thought he deserved.

Rather than serving out his notice period quietly and moving on, though, the 23-year-old decided to "show off" by tampering with the bank's systems before he left, Inner London Crown Court heard on 30 October.

His Honour Judge Jeremy Donne QC told Crispin, as reported by the Basildon Echo: "To say you have behaved utterly stupidly is almost a grotesque understatement."

Crispin attacked his employer's systems to the extent that 60 staff were unable to work properly "for over a week", as the Court News UK newswire reported. Crispin's manager, Sandy George, said his webcam had been hacked by the rogue IT bod, who then went on to take covert snaps of his boss from the compromised device.

He also changed passwords for networked devices – and then deleted network logs in a vain attempt to try and cover his traces.

City of London Police, the force that investigated Crispin's crimes, said in a statement that once Crispin left the bank he applied for another job at an investment management company and denied being under police investigation, thereby committing fraud.

The IT support bod pleaded guilty to four counts under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and to one count of fraud by false representation. HHJ Donne gave him a suspended eight-month prison sentence, three months on curfew, and hit him with £800 in court costs. His digital devices were also forfeited to police.

The Crown Prosecution Service did not respond to requests for a copy of the prosecutor's sentencing note, a document read out in open court during the hearing.

The crime of interfering with networks from the inside is not uncommon in the UK's courts. A woman who deleted 5,000 files from a corporate Dropbox account, causing the failure of a business, walked away from court with community service earlier this year, while a sacked IT bod who knew his former employer hadn't changed the passwords copped five months after hacking airline Jet2. ®


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