Hacker 'incredibly sorry' after costing ex-employer Woodland Property Services thousands
A COMPUTER hacker deleted vital information on work due to be carried out by a Derby firm after being made redundant, a court heard.
Plasterer Paul Bacon also left obscene messages on the company's website.
Magistrates were told the deleted contract details caused a £3,000 loss in business to Woodland Property Services, of Longbridge Lane, Derby, which had made him redundant last year.
Peter Bettany, prosecuting, said the firm described Bacon as "a nice lad, laid back" but he was released due to a lack of work. Later, the crude messages and erased contracts were traced back to a computer used by Bacon, 27, of Main Road, Leabrooks.
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When questioned, Bacon claimed he had gone into the company computer to check contracts and show they had only released him because he was a union member, Southern Derbyshire magistrates heard.
Mr Bettany told the court in Derby: "He said he wanted to prove there was work but it had just not been given to him. The reason, he said, was because he was a member of the union and they didn't like that."
Bacon pleaded guilty to a breach of the Computer Misuse Act between April 2 and 6 last year. He was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 costs.
Lynsey Morrison, in mitigation, said: "He is incredibly sorry for his actions.
"They occurred some time ago and since then he has had a significant amount of time to grow up and reflect on the gravity of the situation he finds himself in.
"He lost his job, his partner was expecting his first child and he was under pressure. He was struggling to understand how he was going to support his family financially. He has never been brought before a court before and this has been a massive wake-up call for him."
Bacon was drunk at the time he hacked into the firm's computer system, he told a probation officer.
He was "very upset" at losing his job and was described in a probation report as appearing to be a "hard-working man who has made a mistake."
Bacon now has a job at a call centre and magistrates warned him that he could face civil action from the firm over the lost money.
Magistrate Jean Flintham told him:"We hope you realise this is a serious offence with potentially damaging consequences for the company involved."
Nobody from the firm was available for comment.